I stopped watching football around 5:00 tonight, thinking the Orange Bowl was going to get out of hand, and from the look of things in the open thread, a lot of us may have had the same idea. The game did in fact get close at 17-10, so I tuned back in.
The announcers (briefly) mentioned that NIU bussed students down to the game. At first, I didn't even realize what they said. After a few seconds, I had a "eureka" moment... and decided to look into things.
Here are facts I found:
- 26 buses were used.
- More than 1,300 students made the trip.
- The trip was roughly 1,400 miles.
- For $150 the school offered the bus trip, 2 nights in a hotel, and transportation to and from the game.
The articles also mentions this about tickets: "NIU handed out free tickets to any student who wished to go" right before addressing the travel package. I also read that "thousands of other NIU students who claimed free tickets made their own travel arrangements." It sure seems that the school did offer FREE
tickets to the game for their students (The Yahoo! story below is pretty clear). Of course, a few years ago UConn had a Fiesta Bowl fiasco with ticket sales, so maybe this isn't econiomically feasible, but wouldn't it have been nice if our Athletic Department could pull off something like this, or something at least close to this?
I would add this squarely into the list of UCLA Administration Failures.
Dan Guerrero's possible responses?
Yes, Westwood is closer to San Diego, than DeKalb is to Miami. And it looks like PAC-12 teams will earn $3.6 million vs. the MAC's $1.6 million.