It takes a lot to be a national champion — a lot of hard work, a lot of dedication and apparently, a lot of money.
Alabama spent $3.4 million for its seven-day trip to Miami for its 881 person travel party to the BCS national Championship game against Notre Dame, according to AL.com, which obtained the school’s NCAA bowl expense report.
Additionally, Alabama paid out $1.46 million in bonuses, which pushed the expenses total to $4.9 million, making the national championship trip the most expensive in school history.
Alabama spent $4.3 million for the 2010 game against Texas in California and $3.9 million for the 2012 game against LSU in New Orleans.
So what was the most expensive item on the 2013 bowl report? The hotel and meals. Alabama spent $896,749 on food and the Fontainebleau Hotel for seven days. Alabama also had to eat 2,003 unsold tickets, which resulted in a loss of $751,380.
Despite the large travel and bonus costs, Alabama still figures to come out ahead thanks to SEC bowl money. AL.com reports that Alabama will receive $1.925 million for its appearance in the national championship as well $2.04 million as part of the overall BCS payout. Florida received $1.825 million and the remaining $30.65 million of BCS bowl revenue is divided among the 15 member schools.
Alabama’s $4 million BCS total does not include their cut of all the SEC’s non-BCS bowl money or the SEC’s travel allowance of $200 per mile one way. If you’re curious, the distance between Tuscaloosa, Ala., to Miami is 786 miles, which comes out to $157,200.
In the end, no one can put a price tag on the glass ball and what it does for the university, its athletics and its overall image. A few million dollars is a drop in the bucket compared to college football's most coveted prize.
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