Monthly Archives: October 2011

Louisville Concession Data

One school which has recently been frequently listed as a potential candidate for conferences to add as a new member as they seek to expand, is Louisville.  There have been mumblings that conferences, including the Big 12, seek to add the Louisville Cardinals as a member.

There are many reasons that make Louisville an attractive target for conference realignment, including the strength of its men’s basketball team along with its profitability.

While the following is not likely a piece of data conferences seriously consider when deciding which schools to add into their mix, it paints an interesting portrait of just how large and profitable Louisville’s athletic program is.  Upon learning that Louisville is one of the few schools in the country that sells beer at some of its athletic events, reached out to the Louisville athletic department to learn more about how much money the school brings in through concession sales.

Before setting out Louisville’s concession data, remember that in 2009-10–before ever playing a game in its new KFC Yum! Center–the men’s basketball team was the 21st most profitable sports program in the country.  This in and of itself was no small feat, as the men’s basketball team was the most profitable  basketball program in the nation and even surpassed some high-power football programs, including Wisconsin, Oregon and USC in terms of profitability.

Although concessions do not make up the bulk of Louisville’s revenue, it is no surprise that the Cardinals–whose football and basketball facilities are named after food-chains–have reaped a significant amount of dollars in selling snacks that fans love.


In 2010, throughout seven home football games held at the Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, Louisville received $785,000.00 in concession revenue.

This dollar amount represents Louisville’s 30 percent split with its concessionaire, Centerplate.  Thus, in seven home football games, Louisville sold $2,616,666.66 worth of concessions, or on average, $373,809.52 worth of hot dogs, peanuts, beer and other concessions during each game.  Louisville does not breakdown what dollar amount of sales is attributed to a particular item, such as hot dogs, pizza or beer.


As mentioned above, Louisville’s men’s basketball team is the most-profitable in the country.  However, it is unlikely that the bulk of this profit is being driven by concession sales.

In 23 home basketball games in the new KFC Yum! Center in 2010-11, Louisville received $461,000 in profit.

Louisville’s contract with its concessionaire, Centerplate, grants it 50 percent of the concession revenue.  So, during 23 games, Louisville basketball brought in $922,000.00 worth of concession revenue, or $40,086.00 per game.

The disparity in concession sales at Louisville football and basketball games is understood when you consider the number of seats at each facility.  The KFC Yum! Center where the Louisville basketball teams play, has seating for 22,000, whereas Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium where the football team plays, has seating for 42,000.

In 2009-10, the men’s basketball team brought in $25,890,003.00 in revenue.  Assuming that Louisville brought in the same amount of profit from concessions during that year and applying all of the revenue earned through concessions to the men’s basketball team’s revenue (and not the women’s), concessions sales accounted for 1.7 percent of the men’s basketball team’s revenue.

So, while $461,000.00 corresponds with a lot of hot dogs, pieces of pizza and cups of beer being enjoyed by Cardinals fans, it does not account significantly for Louisville’s financial success.

Saturday’s Stub Stats

This past week brought the first round of BCS rankings.  Did these rankings affect ticket sales and prices for any teams in the AP Top 25?

The following depicts the least expensive tickets found for this week’s and next week’s games for teams on the AP Top 25 as of October 16, 2011.

The prices were found using StubHub as of 12 p.m. PST on October 22, 2011.  For this data, the number in parenthesis indicates the number of tickets remaining for sale on StubHub.  Prices with a “*” indicate that StubHub data was unavailable and thus, Craigslist was used to obtain data.






1.  LSU

versus Auburn – $70.00 (30)

No game

2.  Alabama

versus Tennessee – $20.00 (151)

No game

3.  Oklahoma

versus Texas Tech – $35.00 (315)

at Kansas State – $78.00 (387)

4.  Wisconsin

at Michigan State – $85.00 (89)

at Ohio State – $60.00 (2,004)

5.  Boise State

versus Air Force – $20.00*

No game

6.  Oklahoma State

at Missouri – $20.00*

versus Baylor – $25.00 (522)

7.  Stanford

versus Washington – $69.00 (251)

at USC – $52.00 (1,118)

8.  Clemson

versus North Carolina – $40.00*

at Georgia Tech – $97.00 (659)

9.  Oregon

at Colorado – $117.00 (16)

versus Washington State – $53.00 (534)

10.  Arkansas

at Ole Miss – $50.00*

at Vanderbilt – $39.00 (201)

11.  West Virginia

at Syracuse – $40.00*

at Rutgers – $50.00 (542)

12.  Kansas State

at Kansas – $35.00*

versus Oklahoma – $78.00 (387)

13.  Nebraska

at Minnesota – $53.00 (18)

versus Oklahoma – $78.00 (387)

14.  South Carolina

No game

at Tennessee – $43.00 (1,647)

15.  Michigan State

versus Wisconsin – $85.00 (86)

at Nebraska – $50.00 (1,043)

16.  Virginia Tech

versus Boston College – $44.00 (142)

at Duke – $43.00 (68)

17.  Texas A&M

at Iowa State – $15.00*

versus Missouri – $49.00 (1,574)

18.  Michigan

No game

versus Purdue – $70.00 (1,021)

19.  Auburn

at LSU – $65.00 (24)

versus Ole Miss – $60.00 (848)

20.  Georgia Tech

at Miami – $10.00 (68)

versus Clemson – $97.00 (659)

21.  Houston

versus Marshall – $15.00

versus Rice – $55.00 (36)

22.  Washington

at Stanford – $69.00 (251)

versus Arizona – $49.00 (913)

23.  Illinois

at Purdue – $40.00*

at Penn State – $15.00 (1,670)

24.  Georgia

No game

versus Florida – $67.00 (2,636)

25.  Arizona State

No game

versus Colorado – $9.00 (1,155)

 The first thing that stands out has nothing to do with ticket prices, but rather, the fact that LSU, Alabama and Boise State all have bye-weeks next week.

Last week, Washington was not in the AP Top 25 and tickets for its game against Stanford could be found for $19.00.  By Saturday, ticket prices rose to $69.00.

Arizona has fallen a few places in the rankings.  Last week, the Sun Devils were ranked 18 and tickets for their 10/15 game versus a ranked Oregon team sold for $49.00 at the low-end.  Ranked 25 for the week of October 16, 2011, the Sun Devils’ next game against a Colorado team that’s not in the top-25 can be found for as low as $9.00.

Arguably, the best buy this weekend was the Georgia Tech – Miami ticket.  For $9.00, Hurricanes fans could have had the opportunity to see their team beat a number 20 Georgia Tech team.

As for next week’s games, the Nebraska – Oklahoma match-up should see higher ticket prices, as the Cornhuskers will meet their former Big 12 competitors.  With Missouri reportedly expected to announce its decision to leave the Big 12 for the SEC, next week’s game between the Tigers and Texas A&M could be nicknamed the “SEC Newbies Bowl.”  It will be interesting to see how any announcement by Missouri drives ticket sales for this game.

Goodbye and Thank You

How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.  ~Carol Sobieski and Thomas Meehan, Annie

When I created this site, I told no one about my idea. I kept it to myself, because I thought it might be a ridiculous idea. Just because I enjoyed writing about the finances of college athletics and had received decent hits on my pieces over on Forbes didn’t mean an entire website could be built around the business of college athletics.

Or could it? As it turns out, not only is there infinite material to cover regarding the business of college athletics, but there’s an audience. An audience of passionate fans that fuel my enthusiasm for the subject. Without all of you – well, there is no

And certainly, without you I wouldn’t have news to share. This will be my last post on No, you haven’t caused me to pack up my keyboard and shut the site down with your accusatory emails and tweets. You’ve given me the desire and motivation to make the business of sports my career.

This is my last post, because I am beginning a new job, and essentially a new career path. I am now ESPN’s sports business reporter!

According to my mother, I’ve wanted to be an attorney since I could speak. I’ve always loved sports, but my attempts to make sports part of my practice never panned out. Until I started writing about legal issues in sports. Then with each passing day, I began to devote more and more of myself to studying and analyzing the business of college sports. For the last eighteen months, I’ve awoken every morning with a burning desire to run to the computer and research or write about an issue in sports business. And that’s why it’s time for me to make a change.

Joining ESPN will allow me to devote myself to researching and reporting on sports business full time. It will also give me an unparalleled platform online, in ESPN The Magazine, on television and radio. There are so many possibilities for topics that I’ve had to start a notebook filled with ideas. I’ve never been so ready to get started!

The move is bittersweet only in that I must leave this website behind. Luckily, you all can follow me over to my new blog on, and even continue to frequent this site, which I’ve entrusted to the very capable Alicia Jessop, along with some superb guest writers.

I can’t begin to thank you enough – for visiting this site, for bookmarking it, adding it to Google Reader and subscribing to receive posts by email. Thank you for following me on Twitter and for emailing me both with praise, criticism, challenges and ideas. Every single time I sit down to write, I think of you – my audience. What do you want to know about your team? What don’t you know about the business side of college sports? I hope I’ve delivered some of that for you.

Please don’t be strangers. My email and Twitter remain the same. You can always find links to all my work at, and you can check out my new blog over at ESPN!


The Case for UCF to the Big East

Recently, the Big East announced that it wishes to add six football teams to its conference, bringing the conference up to twelve participating football teams.  Several schools have been touted as being sought after by the Big East for this purpose, including the University of Central Florida.  When looking at the business aspects of this move, it’s clear why the Big East has its eyes on UCF.

Automatic Qualifier

Arguably one of the biggest factors the Big East is concerned with when extending invitations to universities to join the conference, is that it maintains its BCS Automatic Qualifier status.  UCF is poised to assist the Big East in accomplishing this.

Last season, the UCF Knights finished ranked 25th in the BCS standings.  Although this season the Knights only have a 3-3 record, their success last season arguably depicts that they are a football team to contend with and someone who will help the Big East maintain its BCS AQ status.

Football Revenue

While the Big East has formerly been known as a basketball powerhouse conference, the fact that the conference is specifically seeking out institutions to create a 12-team football conference depicts a shift in its sport of choice.

UCF boasts football revenue that is on par with other Big East schools.  The following depicts conference and institution football revenue for the fiscal period between July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2010:

Big East: $18.8M

UCF:  $15,173,200.00

UCF’s football revenue during this time period was greater than other Big East school’s, including UConn, whose football revenue was $14,400,371.00.  Additionally, another school the Big East reportedly has its eyes on–the University of Houston–only had football revenue of $7,719,733.00 during the period.

Thus, UCF’s football revenue puts it on par with other schools presently in the Big East and those set to join the conference.


As noted above, the Big East has been known for some time as one of the biggest basketball contenders in the NCAA tournament.  The Big East Tournament hosted at Madison Square Garden has always drawn a loyal basketball-loving crowd.  With the defecting by Syracuse and Pitt to the ACC, the Big East arguably loses some of its basketball prowess.  However, the conference remains a basketball talent hotbed, as teams such as UConn, Georgetown, Louisville and Marquette continue to be conference members.

While UCF isn’t on the same level in terms of basketball talent as these schools, it will likely be able to compete.  The Knights made the NCAA tournament in 2005.

Additionally, during the 2009-10 fiscal year, UCF’s men’s basketball team actually turned a profit.  As seen here, this is not something that every basketball team accomplishes.  The fact that UCF turns a profit in men’s basketball is arguably attractive to the Big East, as it was the only conference to make more money from March Madness than the BCS during the 2008-09 and 2009-10 fiscal years.


UCF’s facilities are set for the big stage.

The Knights’ football team competes in the Bright House Networks Stadium, which is the nation’s newest college football stadium.  The stadium is a 24-acre, 45,301 seat state-of-the-art facility.  The stadium was built as part of a $60 million construction project, which also included building practice fields for the Knights’ football, soccer and baseball teams.

The Knights’ basketball team also is sitting pretty in terms of its facility.  Basketball games tip-off in the UCF Arena, which opened its doors in the 2007-08 season.  This arena can seat 10,000 fans.


Orlando is a huge market that the Big East would be smart to tap into.

While Orlando has the third-largest media market in Florida (behind Tampa and Miami), it is still the 19th-largest in the United States.

Additionally, in terms of licensing opportunities and merchandise sales, UCF is a great target.  The school is the second-largest in terms of enrollment, after Arizona State University.  In 2009-10, UCF received $3.3 million in revenue from licensing, royalties, advertising and sponsorship.  This number surpassed that earned by other schools in its current conference, including UAB, East Carolina and Memphis, by up to $2 million.

All in all, numerous factors make UCF a very favorable candidate for Big East expansion.

Saturday’s Stub Stats continues to investigate whether a team’s ranking affects its ticket prices and sales.  Throughout football season, we’ll be tracking data to see if ticket prices rise as a team climbs the AP Top 25.

The following depicts the least expensive tickets found for this week’s and next week’s games for teams on the AP Top 25 as of October 9, 2011.

The prices were found using StubHub as of 12 p.m. PST on October 15, 2011.  For this data the number in parenthesis indicates the number of tickets remaining for sale on StubHub.  Prices with a “*” indicate that StubHub data was unavailable and thus, Craigslist was used to obtain data.  The # symbol indicates that reputable data could not be obtained from StubHub or Craigslist, and thus, last week’s data was used.






1. LSU

at Tennessee – $50.00*

versus Auburn – $120.00 (983)

2.  Alabama

versus Ole Miss – $45.00 (46)

versus Tennessee – $35.00 (1,686)

3.  Oklahoma

at Kansas – $39.00 (20)

versus Texas Tech – $80.00 (1,264)

4.  Wisconsin

versus Indiana – $70.00*

at Michigan State – $95.00 (763)

5.  Boise State

at Colorado State – $59.00 (24)

versus Air Force – $89.00 (155)

6.  Oklahoma State

at Texas – $55.00 (260)

at Missouri – $45.00 (581)

7.  Stanford

at Washington State – $30.00*

versus Washington – $19.00 (1,072)

8.  Clemson

at Maryland – $35.00 (47)

versus North Carolina – $44.00 (549)

9.  Oregon

versus Arizona State – $49.00 (85)

at Colorado – $74.00 (712)

10.  Arkansas

No Game

at Ole Miss – $39.00 (698)

11.  Michigan

at Michigan State – $168.00#

No Game

12.  Georgia Tech

at Virginia – $45.00*

at Miami – $4.00 (2,513)

13.  West Virginia

No Game

at Syracuse – $25.00 (394)

14.  Nebraska

No Game

at Minnesota – $79.00 (1,491)

15.  South Carolina

at Mississippi State – $50.00 (5)

No Game

16.  Illinois

versus Ohio State – $80.00*

at Purdue – $34.00 (272)

17.  Kansas State

at Texas Tech – $9.00 (272)

at Kansas – $60.00 (214) (Sunflower Showdown)

18.  Arizona State

at Oregon – $49.00 (85)

No Game

19.  Virginia Tech

at Wake Forest – $175.00 (2)

versus Boston College – $79.00 (580)

20.  Baylor

at Texas A&M – $35.00*

No Game

21.  Texas A&M

versus Baylor – $35.00*

at Iowa State – $25.00 (363)

22.  Texas

versus Oklahoma State – $55.00 (260)

No Game

23.  Michigan State

versus Michigan – $168.00#

versus Wisconsin – $95.00 (763)

24.  Auburn

versus Florida – $379.00 (2)

at LSU – $120.00 (983)

25.  Houston

No Game

versus Marshall – $23.00 (50)

 In-state rivalries continue to garner high ticket prices, as the Michigan versus Michigan State match-up had one of the highest ticket prices.  Next week’s Sunflower Showdown between Kansas State and Kansas, however, is more affordable, with tickets priced at $60.00.

Last week, Auburn was ranked 15 in the AP poll.  This past week they were ranked 24.  Their opponent this week, Florida, was ranked last week but fell out of the poll this past week.  However, that didn’t seem to affect ticket prices for the Auburn versus Florida game.  Last week on StubHub, tickets could be found for as low as $94.00.  By this past Saturday, there were only two tickets left on StubHub and they were being sold for $379.00.

Two teams which rose several spots in the rankings, South Carolina and Illinois, both experienced increases in the prices of their tickets over the past week.  Last week, tickets for South Carolina’s game against Mississippi State were being sold for $32.00.  As of Saturday, they were being sold for $50.00.  As for Illinois, last week, tickets for its game against Ohio State were fetching $31.00.  By Saturday, they were being sold for $80.00.

As for next week, the greatest steal is the $4.00 tickets for Georgia Tech at Miami.  Auburn at LSU, which was priced at $120.00 on Saturday will likely climb higher in price as the number of tickets available dwindles.

This week is the first week that BCS rankings are out, so it is to be seen whether that affects ticket sales and prices for upcoming games. Exclusive: Midnight Madness Guide

Friday marks the start of college basketball season, as it is the day teams are allowed to begin practicing in preparation for the upcoming 2011-2012 NCAA basketball season. reached out to some of the Division I Men’s Basketball pre-season favorites to learn what their plans are for Midnight Madness.  The following is one of the most comprehensive guides available online detailing the exciting events hosted by perennial NCAA basketball powerhouses and includes insider details!


What:  “First Night” sponsored by People’s United Bank

When:  Friday, October 14, 2011 beginning at 5:00 p.m.

Details:  Admission is free.  Events include “FanFest,” which will entail inflatable games, food and music.  An autograph session will follow with the UConn men’s and women’s basketball teams.  The band, cheer and dance squads will perform.  Players and coaches will be introduced and dunk and three-point contests will be held.  Simon Sez will perform at 8:00 p.m. Confidential:  Coming off of winning the 2011 NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship game, UConn’s Midnight Madness event will be televised live on ESPN3.


What:  “Countdown to Craziness

When:  Friday, October 14, 2011 at 8:00 p.m.

Details:  A carnival events begin at 5:30 p.m., while arena doors open at 7:30 p.m.  Tickets are sold for the event.  Along with a carnival-type atmosphere, the event includes student performances, a Blue-White scrimmage and dunk contest.  ESPNU will air portions of the event. Confidential:  This is the third year “Countdown to Craziness” has been held and the university expects that tickets will be sold out for the event.

Duke University fans at last year's "Countdown to Craziness" Blue v. White scrimmage. (Photo courtesy of Jon Gardiner/Duke Photography)


What:  “Late Night with Roy

When:  Friday, October 14, 2011 beginning at 5:00 p.m.

Details:  The event’s festivities begin at 5:00 p.m. when the UNC volleyball team takes on Virginia.  Following the volleyball game, fans will get their first glimpse at the 2012 UNC basketball team and the event will be streamed on ESPN3. Confidential:  The event is named after Roy Williams, head coach of the UNC men’s basketball team.


What:  Americu Credit Midnight Madness

When:  Friday, October 14, 2011 beginning at 8:00 p.m.

Details:  Doors open at 7:00 p.m.  and admission is free, but a general admission ticket must be obtained.  Attendees will enjoy performances by rapper Meek Mill and acrobatic group Russian Bar Trio and will be introduced to the men’s and women’s basketball teams. Confidential:  Rapper Tone Loc was set to perform at Syracuse’s Midnight Madness event, but was scrapped for Meek Mill in recent days.


What:  27th annual “Late Night in the Phog

When:  Friday, October 14, 2011 from 6:30 p.m. to approximately 9:30 p.m.

Details:  Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and admission is free.  Along with scrimmages by the Jayhawks men’s and women’s teams, the event includes music by the KU pep band, video highlights, coach and player introductions and skits by both teams.  A food drive for Just Food of Douglas County will also be held. Confidential:  Associate Athletics Director Jim Marchiony tells, “We fill Allen Fieldhouse with 16,300 fans each year for this event.”


What:  Midnight Madness Red-White Men’s Basketball Scrimmage

When:  Friday, October 14, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.

Details:  Tickets for lower level seating at the KFC Yum! Center are $10.00, while upper arena seating is $5.00.  The scrimmage will be televised locally, as well as on ESPN3.

Businessof Confidential:  Senior Associate Athletics Director for Media Relations tells, “We expect to have about 10,000 for our scrimmage on Friday.  We already have over 8,000 tickets out, and our students are allowed in free by showing their student IDs at the door.  We did not have an event on the first night of practice last year; we had one intrasquad scrimmage a week into practice that was the first opportunity for our fans to see the KFC Yum! Center in a basketball setting (Oct. 24, 2010).  We had 21,218 for that event.”

Fans filled the KFC Yum! Center during Louisville's 2011 Red-White Scrimmage. (Photo courtesy of Kenny Klein of Louisville Athletics)


What:  “Meet the Bearcats” event

When:  Friday, October 21, 2011 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Details:  The event is free and open to the public.  The event includes a scrimmage and autograph session, as well as a three-point competition where Cincinnati students can face off against members of the men’s basketball team. Confidential:  While this is the first time Cincinnati has held an event in this format, Andre Foushee of the athletics department believes it will be highly attended, given the Bearcats’ performance in the most recent NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament.


What:  Fan Fest and Maggie Dixon Heart Health Fair

When:  Saturday, October 22, 2011 beginning at 2:30 p.m.

Details:  While Pitt isn’t hosting a Midnight Madness event, they will host a Fan Fest and heart health fair in honor of coach Jamie Dixon’s late sister, Maggie.  Doors open to the health fair at 2:30 p.m. and all of the events are free.  The event includes a scrimmage which will tipoff at 5:00 p.m., and a dunk contest. Confidential:  Pittsburgh head coach Jamie Dixon is a successful coach in his own right.  Likewise, his sister, Maggie, was a vibrant young coach of the Army Black Knights women’s basketball team.  At age 28, and weeks after guiding Army to its first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance, Maggie passed away suddenly due to an arrhythmia.

Moving Perks: TCU to the Big 12

Mere weeks ago, many were drafting eulogies for the Big 12, as Texas A&M announced its departure from the conference to join the SEC.

However, with TCU’s acceptance of an invitation to join the conference on October 10, the Big 12 not only gained a tenth member, but arguably reclaimed some stability.

TCU is presently a member of the Mountain West Conference and was set to join the Big East next summer.  However, in announcing that it will join the Big 12 in 2012, TCU effectively exited the Big East before ever competing within the conference.

TCU’s move to the Big 12 presents several incentives which will be enjoyed by the university and conference.

1.  Money

a.  For TCU

As noted above, TCU was set to join the Big East next summer.  That being said, its 11th hour switch to the Big 12 does not come without financial consequences.  Reports indicate that TCU will have to pay the Big East a $5 million exit fee.

Most would balk at the thought of a school shelling out $5 million to swap out its conference affiliation.  However, the size of the Big East’s exit fee and TCU’s willingness to pay it signals just how much the school expects to gain financially by joining the Big 12.

Last week, the Big 12’s members voted to distribute revenue earned from its television contracts equally amongst its members.  Presently, the Big 12 is a party to a first-tier television rights contract with ESPN worth $480 million.  Next year kicks off the start of a 13-year second-tier television rights contract with Fox worth $1.17 billion.

The Big East’s first-tier television rights contract with ESPN expires in 2012 and is worth $200 million.  The Big East is also party to a second-tier television rights contract with CBS worth $54 million.

Thus, while for some it may seem preposterous that TCU was willing to fork out $5 million to exit a conference it never played a game in, its Board of Trustees arguably realized the television revenue earning potential the school could reap through Big 12 membership.

b.  For the Big 12

Although some believed the Big 12 to be on its deathbed several weeks ago, the conference’s extension of an invitation to TCU was not one made out of pity for the university.

Rather, the Big 12 clearly realized the money-making potential TCU brings to the conference.  TCU is located in Fort Worth, Texas, which is less than forty miles away from Dallas.  Dallas is home to the fifth-highest rated TV market.  This ranking makes Dallas the highest-rated TV market for all of Texas.  By adding TCU to its conference roster, the Big 12 enters this fruitful market and can use this to negotiate future TV contracts.

2.  Geography

Along with providing the Big 12 with a connection to the fifth-largest media market, geography likely factored heavily into both TCU and the Big 12’s decision to join forces.

a.  Recruiting

It is no secret that Texas is a hotbed for high school football talent.  Securing a fourth Texas school into its conference gives all Big 12 members a significant advantage over other conferences in recruiting this talent.

Big 12 college coaches can lure Texas recruits to play for them by promising them the ability to play before their family and friends in their hometown.  With four Big 12 teams being located in Texas, a recruit who signs with a Big 12 team will play at least four games a season in his home state.  Additionally, schools like Oklahoma are a short drive away from TCU.  Thus, non-Texas based Big 12 schools can likewise use the addition of the Fort Worth-based TCU to the Big 12 as a recruiting tool.

b.  Costs

As noted above, TCU was set to join the Big East.  While likely a small factor when considered in the grand scheme of things, the university’s athletic department will incur much lower travel expenses by moving to the Big 12.  Four of the ten Big 12 schools are located in Texas.  When forced to travel outside of Texas, TCU will visit Oklahoma, Missouri, Iowa and Kansas.  Had TCU remained in the Big East, it would have to travel on a frequent basis to places like Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New York, Wisconsin, Washington D.C. and New Jersey to compete.  Staying closer to home undoubtedly curbs travel expenses.

3.  Football

TCU has had well-documented success on the gridiron in recent years.  Last season, the Horned Frogs went undefeated in football and won the Rose Bowl.

The Big East has a storied history as a basketball powerhouse.  In fact, its basketball teams perform so well, that it is one of the only conferences which earned more money from its basketball teams than its football teams.

For the period between July 2009 to June 2010, TCU’s football revenue was $20,609,361.00.  The average football revenue for Big East teams was $18.8 million, while football revenue for Big 12 teams was $35.4 million on average.  Thus, although TCU’s football revenue is less than its new Big 12 peers’, it was larger than teams in the Big East.  By moving to the Big 12, TCU has arguably set itself on good footing to earn even larger amounts of money from one of the biggest revenue streams in college sports.

All in all, it appears that TCU’s move to the Big 12 is a win-win situation for the university and the conference.

Mystery Writer Revealed

Alicia Jessop

Legend has it, that when I was an infant, I entertained members of my family by systematically raising my hands in a goal post formation whenever John Elway scored a touchdown for the Denver Broncos.

For as long as I can remember, sports and being a sports fan have played intricate roles in my life.

Born and raised in Denver, Colorado, I remember the day in third grade, when my Mom picked me up from school early so I could watch Colorado’s first Major League Baseball team play its first game live.  I remember jumping around crazily and sharing high-fives with my Dad when Eric Young hit the first home run in Colorado Rockies history.

When I was in seventh grade, the Denver Broncos finally became Super Bowl champions, defeating the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XXXII.  Not only did the Super Bowl victory finally give Broncos fans a championship winning football team, it gave me bragging rights in my classroom at Everitt Middle School.  The weekend the Broncos won the Super Bowl, I was also named the winner of the Rocky Mountain News’ Denver Broncos Hat Design Contest.  My picture was subsequently featured alongside my crafty hat in a full-page spread in the paper’s Spotlight section.

As an adult, sports have naturally remained a focal point of my life.

I completed my undergraduate studies at the Colorado School of Mines, from which I received a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics.  While there, I was a member and captain of the cheerleading squad.  The weekends I spent on the sideline and on the basketball court supporting my collegiate team are some of my most treasured memories.

In 2006, I left Colorado to begin law school in California.  I attended Chapman University School of Law in Orange, California.  I chose Chapman for its proximity to Los Angeles and ties to the entertainment industry.  While there, I completed a certificate program in Entertainment Law and interned at the Screen Actors Guild and Warner Brother’s music publishing company, Warner/Chappell Music before graduating cum laude.

In 2009, I graduated from law school.  That summer I sat for the California bar examination, which I passed.  I am also licensed to practice law in Colorado.

Since law school, I’ve represented corporations in contractual and labor issues.  Currently, I work for a law firm Orange County and represent large-scale banking institutions in contractual disputes.  I’ve also advised professional athletes and collegiate coaches in contractual matters and in forming nonprofit organizations.

Through establishing my website,, I got to know Kristi and

A month ago, Kristi invited me to become a main contributor to  I am thrilled to have been given this opportunity and feel that you will find many similarities (and what appears to be only one difference) between myself and Kristi:



Lawyer Lawyer
Favorite law school professor:  Matthew Parlow Favorite law school professor:  Matthew Parlow
Former college cheerleader Former college cheerleader
Sorority member Sorority member
Chadd Scott Still searching for her Chadd Scott

In my becoming a main contributor of, it is my and Kristi’s goal to continue giving you the things you look forward to when visiting

  • Interesting content
  • Accurate information
  • Reasoned insight
  • Fresh opinions
  • Insightful explanations

Another factor which has made successful is Kristi’s accessibility to readers.  I look forward to engaging with you on Twitter.  You can find me at my personal account @RulingSports and at the new official account @BizCollegeSport.   I can also be reached via email at

While Kristi has the SEC on lockdown, I look forward to meeting readers from the Pac-12 at upcoming games!  Be sure to send me your tailgate information!

I’m thankful to Kristi for this opportunity.  I hope that you’ll stay tuned, follow me and continue to discover what the business of college sports is all about!

Follow Alicia on Twitter @RulingSports and @BizCollegeSport 

Alicia’s writing on professional sports can be found at

Facilities Tour: University of Tulsa

I’ll admit it. I didn’t expect much out of my visit to University of Tulsa. I was thinking urban campus with facilities befitting my image of a non-AQ conference. The image in my head couldn’t have been further from what I experienced on the University of Tulsa campus.

Out of all the campuses I’ve visited, Tulsa is the only one where I could see myself as a student. Perhaps this is because it’s small (just over 3,000 undergraduates and just over 1,100 graduate students) and that along with the architectural theme carried throughout campus reminds me of my undergraduate alma mater, Oglethorpe University. Whatever the reason, I was enchanted by University of Tulsa. Yes, enchanted. I’m making a push to bring “enchanted” back into everyday vocabulary.

I doubt many of you have visited University of Tulsa, or ever will. So, I hope this pictures do it justice. This tour, along with a subsequent tour I took of Western Kentucky University, proved to me that the divide between AQ and non-AQ schools in terms of facilities isn’t nearly as wide as I imagined. In fact, there’s no divide at all between some schools.

This picture below on the left is of dorms. Yes, those are dorms. I’ve lived in apartments not as nice. The only reason I’m including these in the athletic facilities tour is that these particular ones are adjacent to the football stadium and actually house the bathrooms and concession stands for the stadium on the bottom floor. You can’t tell from the picture, but they’re just over to the right of this shot. (Sorry, I never claimed to be a professional photographer.) The picture on the right is the outside facade of the football stadium.






Next up are some shots of the 30,000 capacity football stadium from the inside:






Below are shots of the club seating area and accompanying suite within H.A. Chapman Stadium:






Tulsa has 400 club seats and 20 luxury suites. Club seats cost $300/seat for each season and are purchased for 10-years at a time. Likewise, luxury suites are sold for ten years each at a cost of $30,000. Both club seats and luxury suites currently have a waiting list.

Inside the Case Athletic Complex, located at the northern end zone and pictured above on the left, are locker rooms and an impressive display of Tulsa alumni playing in the NFL. Read the rest of this entry

The Impact of Ranking on Ticket Sales

Michigan Student Section - Taken by Flickr user grgbrwn

What role does a Division I football team’s AP ranking play in the amount of tickets sold for its games and the price of those tickets?

The following depicts the least expensive tickets found for this week’s and next week’s games for teams on the AP Top 25 as of October 2, 2011.

The prices were found using StubHub as of 12 p.m. PST on October 8, 2011.  For this data the number in parenthesis indicates the number of tickets remaining for sale on StubHub.  Prices with a “*” indicate that StubHub data was unavailable and thus, Craigslist was used to obtain data.  The + symbol indicates that the game was played at a neutral location.






1.  LSU versus Florida- $150.00 (30) at Tennessee- $74.00 (1,799)
2. Alabama versus Vanderbilt – $48.00 (52) at Ole Miss – $50.00 (1,687)
3. Oklahoma versus Texas- $150.00*+ at Kansas- $50.00 (314)
4. Wisconsin No game versus Indiana- $60.00 (681)
5. Boise State Played Fresno on 10/7 at Colorado State- $102 (154)
6. Oklahoma State versus Kansas- $20.00* at Texas- $80.00 (1,369)
7.  Stanford versus Colorado- $13.00 (296) at Washington State- $40.00 (67)
8.  Clemson versus Boston College- $75.00* at Maryland- $18.00 (470)
9. Oregon Played Cal on 10/6 versus Arizona State- $52.00 (640)
10. Arkansas versus Auburn- $50.00* No game
11. Texas versus Oklahoma- $150.00*+ versus Oklahoma State- $80.00 (1.369)
12. Michigan at Northwestern – $95.00 (142) at Michigan State- $168.00 (792)
13.  Georgia Tech No game at Virginia- $39.00 (291)
14. Nebraska versus Ohio State- $50.00 (130) No game
15. Auburn at Arkansas- $50.00* versus Florida- $94.00 (1,146)
16. West Virginia versus Connecticut- $17.00* No game
17. Florida at LSU – $150.00 (30) at Auburn- $94.00 (1,146)
18. South Carolina versus Kentucky- $45.00* at Mississippi State- $32.00 (363)
19. Illinois at Indiana- $25.00* versus Ohio State- $31.00 (556)
20. Kansas State versus Missouri- $20.00 (15) at Texas Tech – $16.00 (811)
21.  Virginia Tech versus Miami- $15.00 (256) at Wake Forest- $25.00 (621)
22. Arizona State at Utah- $15.00* at Oregon- $52.00 (640)
23. Florida State at Wake Forest- $15* at Duke – $20.00 (155)
24. Texas A&M at Texas Tech – $20.00 (376) versus Baylor – $98.00 (908)
25.  Baylor versus Iowa State- $10.00* at Texas A&M – $98.00 (908)

The 25th-ranked Baylor had the least expensive ticket price on the list for this week’s games, at $10.00.  The top-ranked LSU had the most expensive ticket price at $150.00 for its game against Florida, which tied pricing for the always popular Red River Rivalry game between Texas and Oklahoma.

As for next week, the highest-priced game as of October 8, 2011 was the match-up between in-state rivals Michigan and Michigan State, for which the least expensive tickets were being sold on StubHub for $168.00.

Washington State fans hoping to catch a glimpse of Stanford quarterback phenom Andrew Luck better act fast and buy tickets, as only 67 remained on StubHub as of yesterday afternoon.

The following tidbit should be of interest to Boise State fans:  Tickets for the Broncos’ away game versus Colorado State were next week’s highest priced game for any Top 25 team, priced at $102.00.  It appears that many of the Broncos’ game tickets sell for over $100.00, which is interesting when compared to the ticket prices for teams in larger conferences (say, Texas Tech, Stanford and South Carolina).

Throughout the rest of the football season, visit every Sunday to track how ticket prices fluctuate as teams’ rankings rise and fall and to find out which conference boasts the highest ticket prices.

(Today’s post was written by’s new main contributing writer.  To learn the identity of the site’s new writer, be sure to visit tomorrow!)