Kansas State’s trip to the inaugural Pinstripe Bowl didn’t turn out to be a big money-maker, but the Wildcats didn’t lose millions on the game either.
“We roughly broke even,” said K-State senior associate athletic director Reid Sigmon.
According to an expense report filed with the NCAA, obtained through an Open Records request made by the Eagle in January, K-State spent $1,348,511 on the trip. That number came in under the expense allowance of $1,473,600 handed out by the Big 12 Conference, meaning the school profited $125,089 on the game.
Those numbers don’t factor in coaching bonuses that come with qualifying for a bowl game, though. Nor do they account for national exposure gained by the team. Figure all those in, and the bowl becomes essentially a wash.
“The Pinstripe Bowl was a tremendous opportunity for our student athletes and fans,” Sigmon said. “It gave us great exposure and was a great experience. Our goal going into it was to break even, and that’s what we did.”
The Big 12 hands out different expense allowances to each of its bowl eligible teams based on factors such as the bowl it attended, miles traveled and tickets sold.
K-State was allotted 2,300 tickets for the Pinstripe Bowl and sold 3,200, which Sigmon said earned it a bonus that the Big 12 awards to all teams that sell more than half their allotment.
Interestingly, K-State still had to absorb $35,155 in unsold tickets. After selling out its original allotment, K-State requested 1,200 more tickets. When it sold only 900 of those new tickets, it was responsible for the difference.
Below is a complete breakdown of K-State’s expenses for the Pinstripe Bowl:
For flying 273 team and staff to New York for six days: $291,804
For busing 362 band and cheerleaders to New York for seven days: $181,832
For flying 77 school officials to New York for six days: $73,205
Total transportation costs: $546,841
(Note on travel: According to a plane manifest for K-State’s chartered flight to New York, the Wildcats’ traveling party included several family members of athletic personnel and a small number of donors that purchased the trip at events earlier in the year. Athletic director John Currie traveled with his wife and three children. Several coaches were joined by their immediate family)
(Another note on travel: The band and cheerleaders travel cost was actually $81,832, but the K-State athletic department decided to make a $100,000 donation to the scholarship fund of the band and cheerleaders for turning down a flight and choosing to bus to the game)
Meals/Lodging Per Diem
For team and staff: $395,495
For band and cheerleaders: $164,333
For school officials: $70,012
Total meals/lodging costs: $629,840
Equipment and supplies: $50,184
Tickets Absorbed: $35,155
Practice sites: $10,895
Total Other Costs: $171,830