By the numbers: How much does it cost to play in the Cotton Bowl Classic? |

Very interesting look inside the numbers for the teams that participate in the Cotton Bowl. Operations folks will be familiar with much of what is documented, albeit on a much smaller scale. So many factors. So many contractual obligations. It’s a wonder that an Operations person can get a sound night’s sleep.

So just how much does a university spend to send its football team, band, cheerleaders and administrators to the Cotton Bowl Classic?

More than $1 million.

Western Michigan spent $1.15 million to play Wisconsin in the game at AT&T Stadium on Jan. 2, 2017, according to the most recently available contracts surrounding the game. That doesn’t include the $155,000 the school paid its coaches in bonuses for the bowl appearance. (Ohio State’s coaches will earn a total $1.16 million for their appearance in Friday’s game against USC).

The Star-Telegram requested the contracts and summary of bowl expenses from the public schools participating in the past two games. Ohio State did not release contract because it had not been signed. Wisconsin did not respond to requests for the public information.

Here is a look at the numbers inside a bowl game, based on Western Michigan’s expenses and the most recent tax filings from the Cotton Bowl Athletic Association and Mid-American Athletic Conference.

$12,889,279 Cotton Bowl revenue in 2015, which includes ticket and merchandise sales and fundraising events.

$11,030,680 Cotton Bowl expenses in 2015.

$1,200,546 Total compensation for Cotton Bowl president/CEO Rick Baker in 2015, according to IRS Form 990.

$670,983 Total compensation for Cotton Bowl COO/CFO Marty MacInnis in 2015, according to IRS Form 990.

$1.15 million Western Michigan’s expenses to travel to and from the game.

12,500 Number of tickets each team is required to purchase from the Cotton Bowl.

$150 to $240 Price range of tickets purchased by Western Michigan.

$2,022,240 Amount Western Michigan paid for the tickets.

161 The number in football team’s travel party, including coaches and other staff.

150 Number of rooms reserved by the bowl and required for the football team’s travel party at the Gaylord Texan Resort Hotel.

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