If you have ever wondered how much it costs to put on a college football game in a city that neither team calls home then keep reading. Thanks to WOKV News in Jacksonville, we are getting some idea of the cost to put on the match up between Navy and Notre Dame that will take place there in just around four months.
The initial announcement for the game came with the caveat that Jacksonville mayor Lenny Curry was going to ask for $325,000 to invest into the event. That number has actually inflated a little over time and a vote today (June 28) will be asking for $350,000 to get the event off of the ground. That sum of money would almost entirely be used to get the stadium (EverBank) Field, up and running on game day, taking into account field prep, ushers, security and the like.
The biggest single expense for the event though will be additional seating that the city has to install. EverBank Stadium seats 67,246 people, expandable to 82,000 depending on the event, but lost some of its premium seating capacity due to renovations at the club level. In order to fulfill the ticket obligations for Notre Dame and Navy therefore an extra 3,500 temporary seats have to be installed.
One of the more interesting details in the report is how little money the city actually gets from game tickets. The city of Jacksonville only picks up $1.25 from each ticket sold, a stunningly low amount when you consider what a college football ticket sells for these days. The city actually makes much more profit from concessions (65%) than they do from selling tickets.
In summary it is expensive to put on a college football game. It is especially expensive if that game is held in a place where neither team resides and where the city doesn’t own the stadium. These games have to bring in thousands of fans from out of town to boost the local economy with hotel stays, dining out and shopping, otherwise the city finds itself in a big hole.