Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Today's Merc installment addresses the benefits of just playing in a bowl game, which is a far cry from how it was five-10 years ago. Back then, at least according to a Sports Illustrated article, basically every team that played before New Year's Day lost money if they played in a bowl.

This was mainly because they were on the hook for thousands of tickets that often went unsold. When you factor in flying hundreds of faculty, staff and band folk, the expenditures can easily reach into the millions. Suffice it to say, most bowls don't pay out enough to cover that.

That's not the case anymore, apparently. The WAC now underwrites bowl expenses for all WAC-affiliated bowls and SJSU is on the hook for zero tickets. All ticket sales go to the WAC, not SJSU, so it's tough for us to make much money, either, but that was a pipedream, anyway.

As for the game itself, they're claiming to have about 27,000 of the 35,000 tickets sold, although mostly to instate fans. New Mexico officials of course have high-falutin dreams about the exposure their city will receive, and that's somewhat true. What they were surely hoping for but won't be getting is a city full of hotel guests. Sorry, SJSU just doesn't travel that well.


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