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NIU Huskies at Orange Bowl

Tue, 01 Jan 2013 08:51:46 CST
By: IPR / Charlie Schlenker

Northern Illinois University is headed to a big bowl game this evening, the Discover Orange Bowl. And it's hard for smaller universities with to play with the big boys, not only on the field, but financially. NIU has broken even in only one of its last five bowl appearances and Debra Boughton, the financial officer for the university athletics department, says they had to guarantee 17,000 ticket sales or $2.4 million to get the Orange Bowl bid...

   

"You know we sold over $500,000 worth of the tickets. Worth of the $2.4 million. We certainly haven't sold that many for any of our previous bowl games."
There are other expenses too, team travel, hotels, the marching band, and so on. But, Mid America Conference Spokesman Ken Mather says the conference will help NIU with part of its $8 million cut of bowl revenue...

   
"We're going to be underwriting nearly close to $4-million to help them in covering their ticket costs and some of the costs for them. So there's an opportunity for us to be able to make sure that they aren't looking at this as a huge financial burden we want to eliminate that right at the onset."

Even so, Boughton says NIU won't know whether it will break even for several months. The University is donating thousands of tickets to charity in an effort to fill the seats in Miami.

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