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Iowa football sets budget goals for Outback Bowl

BY ABIGAIL MEIER | DECEMBER 18, 2013 5:00 AM

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Positive predictions from athletics officials indicate the University of Iowa will stay within the $1.825 million budget for the Outback Bowl while also providing a “first-class experience” for the student-athletes and coaches.

“It’s about fiscal responsibility,” said UI Assistant Athletics Director Richard Klatt. “One of our departmental values is to be efficient with our resources. We work really hard to provide a first-class experience for our athletes when they get the opportunity to participate in a bowl game, but we also want to be responsible with our finances.”

Klatt said the university will send two groups to Tampa, Fla., on two different flights. The first flight will leave on Dec. 24 and will consist of 350 members of the UI community ranging from players, coaches, and administrative staff. It will return on Jan. 2. The second flight, consisting of 325 Marching Band members and a “handful” of additional football managers and staff, will leave on Dec. 29 and return the night of the game on Jan. 1.

When the Hawkeyes went to the 2010 Insight Bowl, Klatt said the university was provided with $1.8 million for travel and meal expenses. Not only did the UI stay within the budget, Klatt said, the Athletics Department had a surplus of $382,000, which was placed in the athletics operating budget covering all sports at the university.

The Hawkeyes will begin practicing for the game in Florida around six days before the Jan. 1 game at a local high-school football field. They will visit the Raymond James Stadium only once before they step onto the field for the game.

UI President Sally Mason said her first bowl game as president was the Outback Bowl of 2009 against South Carolina, which the Hawkeyes won, 31-10. Mason said South Carolina had a similar attitude as current opponent LSU, and she believes the Hawkeyes will have an appropriate time to prepare.

“South Carolina came in with an attitude not so dissimilar from LSU’s,” Mason said. “On the field they were surprised … Kirk gives the team 30 days to get them ready, and it’s up to them to perform, and I think they will. We’re excited, and I know ticket sales have been strong, so I know there will be a lot of Hawkeyes down in Tampa on New Year’s.”

Pete Hagan, the associate athletics director for finance at Ohio State, said he predicts Ohio State will stay within its budget for the Discover Orange bowl on Jan. 3.

“We hope to save a little bit of money, but it is in our policy to not exceed that money,” Hagan said. “We try to be as efficient as possible and meet our department’s needs while not exceeding our budget.”

Hagan said the Buckeyes will have a budget of $2.15 million and he said he predicts about 1,000 to 1,100 players, managers, trainers, cheerleaders, and spectators will attend the game in South Florida.

Klatt noted the UI is lucky to be able to take the Marching Band to the bowl game along with the rest of the contingent. Many universities are not able to afford to bring their marching bands and remain within their budgets.

“We take into consideration the hard work and dedication that the band gives throughout the year,” Klatt said. “We take great pride in the spirit and enthusiasm the band brings to Kinnick and each game.”

While UI officials feel confident with staying inside the budget for the game, Klatt said the high level of meals and transportation expenses can be intimidating.

“We have a history with staying within our budgets, and oftentimes, we have a little left over,” he said. “We take very seriously in operating the trip in a fiscally sound way while meeting all the needs that will enable the Hawkeyes to secure a victory.”


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