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Northern Illinois won't lose money attending the Orange Bowl

The NIU Huskies worked out a deal with the MAC to not lose money on the Orange Bowl.

Dave Reginek

I've switched my major from accounting to finance to business admin, so I'll try to make this article about as least dry as possible for you guys.

The problem with the bowl system in general is that it is set up for the bowls to make money no matter what so that they can stick around every year. Therefore, they give thousands and thousands of tickets to schools to sell for face value when trust me you can find a better deal online. I assure that this is a known fact and not some low-down secret. That being said, I inquire NIU fans to buy tickets through

That is a problem because the nosebleed seats that are the cheapest cost $75 bucks a pop. I don't know about you, but if I'm either a college student or young alumni that has just graduated, this might be a little tough. Especially considering that you have to book a hotel and a trip down there as well.

NIU is on the hook for 17,500 tickets. Jeff Compher says that is $2.4 million worth of ticket sales that NIU is responsible for.

The horror stories are everywhere. UConn lost $1.8 million in the 2008 Fiesta Bowl. Virginia Tech lost $2.2 million in the 2009 Orange Bowl and $1.6 million in 2011.

That's where the almighty Dr. Jon Steinbrecher is coming through to bail the Huskies out. This a rare occurrence in college football, but it's also a rare occurrence that a MAC team makes a BCS Bowl game (never). That means that NIU is NOT going to lose money on the bowl game. However, any of those ticket sales are going to be pumped back into the conference.

As usual we first turn to Huskie Wire for their coverage:

Here are the deets that everyone is reporting:

How much do non-AQ conferences get? $12 million

How much does the MAC get of that 12 mil? Around 2/3rds or $8 million.

but that's not all

Non-AQs get an extra $12-14 million as well.

According to ESPN, that money will be split equally between non-AQ conferences.

Huskie Wire says that money will be allocated according to how well the MAC does this postseason, which doesn't fare well because most of the 7 teams in bowl games are underdogs.

This ESPN article does a good job summarizing the money talk and points out that this could wake fans up and make a good showing:

"What I'm most excited about is that I believe this will re-energize our fan base," Compher said. "I want people to jump on the bandwagon because it could be as big as we want it to be. We have 180,000 alumni that live within an hour drive of our campus. People think that we're a little school. We're not."

How much does NIU get?

Well, it all depends on ticket sales. If you divide all the money around the conference, it could range anywhere up to 830K or more for each school. Of course, this is just an estimate. Divide the $10.8 million or so for the MAC around the 13 schools. Minus the lost money for NIU and voila. Of course I could be wrong and somebody correct me if I am.

How much did other BCS busters sell?

The Huskie Wire article gets depressing towards the end when it talks about how much money Boise and Utah made off their first BCS Bowl appearances.

NIU's home attendance was 15,670 this year. There's no denying that fact. There's also no denying it's a lot easier to get down to Arizona from Idaho and Utah than it is to go from Dekalb/Chicago, IL to Miami, FL.

Free tickets for students

Personally, I don't agree with free tickets and think they should be cheaper for say $10, but you can't blame Donna Turner for making it possible for our students to attend the big games that NIU has played in while allocating their costs towards hotels. Turner says that NIU has been doing this for every postseason since the 2008 Independence Bowl.


Here's a great article about how Orange Bowl merch is just flying off the shelves. If I know Huskie fans, I know they like their merch and they are going to be asking for a lot of it.