Alabama spent $2.6 million to send 908 people to Sugar Bowl semi

There were 907 people in Alabama's traveling party that watched Ohio State defeat the Tide in the Sugar Bowl. (AP photo)

There were 907 people in Alabama’s traveling party that watched Ohio State defeat the Tide in the Sugar Bowl. (AP photo)

If you’re going to New Orleans, do it right.

That must have been Alabama’s philosophy when it traveled to New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl/College Football Playoff semifinal against Ohio State in January.

The program spent $2.6 million to send a traveling party of 908 people to a location about a 4 1/2-hour drive from Tuscaloosa and to a game it lost to the Buckeyes, who went on to win the first CFP national championship.

The figures are from numbers reported to the NCAA, CBSSports.com reported today. The website obtained the NCAA expense reports of all four playoff teams.

Alabama’s traveling party was “197 more than any other team brought to a playoff game.”

In comparison, Ohio State spent a combined $4.4 million on its trips to New Orleans and Arlington, Texas, where the national title game was played. Oregon, which played in the Rose Bowl semifinal and then the national title game, spent a total of $3.8 million on its trips.

From the article:

“The CFP pays out $50 million to each Power Five conference, plus $6 million for each team in the semifinals and $4 million for each team in a CFP access bowl. That doesn’t include additional lucrative payouts from some conferences’ individual contracts with bowls that are part of the playoff.”

Alabama took 778 people to New Orleans for the BCS Championship Game in 2012. No other school this season spent as much on a single trip as Alabama did on its trip to the Sugar Bowl.

Alabama “did not identify a bottom-line figure,” CBSSports.com states.

Neither did Ohio State, but FSU stated it had a surplus of $144,866 after expenses and money from the CFP and ticket sales. Oregon reported that it made $1.3 million from its two playoff games.


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