Michigan fans are upset that their band won’t be traveling to Dallas for the season-opening match up with Alabama and MGoBlog starts to connect the dots as to why:
Add in Michigan’s expenses for getting down to Dallas and the ancillary benefits of having a home game (parking and concessions seem to be around 300k per game and there would be some level of increased donations required to get a season ticket) and either $4.7 million is undershooting it by a lot or Dave Brandon sold a home game to Dallas for no financial benefit whatsoever. Meanwhile, tickets for Dallas start at $125. At that price Michigan could easily afford a home and home with a high-quality opponent.
Surely this can’t be right. Dave Brandon didn’t send Michigan down to Dallas for no reason whatsoever, right? My previous belief was that there was something we were missing in the numbers. But the sudden about-face about the band—and it was an about face given the contract and the conspicuous “Michigan band” sections on seating charts—suggests that the financial picture could be as grim as that: $400k is a significant chunk when you’re already getting hosed backwards and forwards.
First, it surprises me that Michigan wouldn’t bite the bullet and send the band. Didn’t they get the memo? These season-opening tilts aren’t about the money – they are statement games. The whole college football world is watching to see how you do against good competition. That exposure certainly can be a shot in the arm to any program, even Michigan’s.
Second, this perfectly makes my case against adding a ninth conference game. Every other year you lose a home game. And when you lose a home game, you lose all of the related economic effect – hot dog sales in your stadium, beer in your local pubs, gas purchased on the way out of your town, all of it.