Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Selling out Moving Home Games May Make Sense after All

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Selling out Moving Home Games May Make Sense after All

Article excerpt

From Bobby Bowden's philosophical vantage point, Florida State's football coach doesn't have any problem with Duke's decision to sell today's home game against the Seminoles to Jacksonville in exchange for a handsome payday.

In many respects, the Seminoles did the same thing during Bowden's early years at FSU, tackling high-profile opponents on the road in exchange for guaranteed money and maximum exposure for his program.

"Money's the name of it," Bowden said. "Naturally, the coaches don't want to do it; they want it in their own backyard. . . . But I don't know how you turn down that much money when you have bills to play."

Bowden's first FSU teams regularly traveled to places like Auburn and LSU, often exchanging three road games for one date at home. The best example of FSU's mercenary approach to scheduling came in 1981, when the 'Noles traveled to Nebraska, Ohio State, Notre Dame and Pittsburgh on consecutive weekends.

"The reason we played Nebraska, Ohio State and Notre Dame [all on the road ] was because they paid us so much money," Bowden said. "It was even worse than neutral --- it was at their place. And they never would come back.

"Back in those days, if you got a $150,000 guarantee it was pretty good. I think Nebraska paid us $300,000, or something like that."

Inflation has altered those guarantee numbers through the years. With a projected crowd of 40,000 for today's noon kickoff with the 'Noles at Alltel Stadium, Duke figures to pocket in excess of $800,000 for its trouble.

Duke Athletic Director Joe Alleva confirmed his school will get all the monies netted from gate receipts, minus ticket taxes and the usual Atlantic Coast Conference visitors guarantee to the Seminoles, which can range from $110,000 to $200,000. That's a sizably higher figure than the Blue Devils would have netted from playing in front of their home fans at Wallace Wade Stadium. …

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