Rutgers pays UMass, Liberty University more than $1 M. each for home games this year
Although Rutgers football won its first home game of the season against the University of Massachusetts a couple of weeks ago, it came at a price.
In a contract agreement Rutgers signed with the school, the University of Massachusetts agreed to have its football team play a game in Piscataway for $1.3 million, according to USA Today. The agreement with the university will also include a home-and-home men’s basketball series between the two athletic programs.
The University has also agreed to pay Liberty University $1 million for a home game later this season, according to the article.
Paying out of conference opponents to play in college football home games has become a common practice in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), according to USA Today. The price range can go from $300,000 for a game to $1,937,500, which the University of Alabama is paying Tulsa to play a game at home.
It is unclear how many fans will be in attendance at the games, but there were 40,515 fans in attendance for Rutgers’ home opener earlier this season. In terms of season tickets, the most recently released statistics had 16,585 people attending every Rutgers home game this season, approximately 46% from 2015 and 27% from 2017, according to NJ Advance Media.
The football game, along with a reenactment of the first-ever football game before the season opener, were events a part of Welcome Week, and head coach Chris Ash at his post-game press conference explained the presence of the University’s student section.
Another one of the sources of revenue Rutgers is counting on this season is the implementation of beer sales and a new concessions vendor that will have new food options for fans. Alcohol sales are expected to bring an additional $500,000 in revenue in its first year, offsetting the $16 million in scholarships the University offers to approximately 600 athletes, according to NJ Advance Media.