Michigan and Michigan State combined to spend nearly $4 million to send their football teams, staff, bands and cheerleaders to postseason bowl games.
Michigan spent $2,097,867 for the team’s trip to Orlando for the Citrus Bowl, the program’s first bowl game since December 2013, while Michigan State spent $1,764,717 to play in the national playoff game at the Cotton Bowl.
The expenses for both schools were obtained by The Detroit News through an open records request.
While these numbers represent what the two programs spent, it does not show what the schools received or will receive from the Big Ten, which pools all of the member team’s bowl payouts and then distributes to the programs.
Michigan received $2.02 million from the Big Ten in travel reimbursements for the Citrus Bowl, while Michigan State received $2.25 million for the national playoff semifinal, according to a Big Ten official. In addition to conference syndication of unsold guaranteed tickets, the federal form filed for bowl expenses requires schools to include tickets absorbed in their final ledger and does not account for the Big Ten absorbing the costs.
This puts both schools at about break-even or better in bowl costs.
The biggest postseason expenses are travel. Michigan’s team and staff, totaling 413, spent seven days in Orlando for a cost of $764,930. The band and cheerleaders, totaling 329, spent four days in Florida for $289,263. Michigan also spent $17,310 for its official party of 27, including faculty and athletics department members. The total expense for travel was $1,071,503.
For the entire Michigan travel party, $645,460 was spent on food and lodging. Michigan absorbed 1,288 tickets at $162,599, but the Big Ten absorbs the cost.
Michigan spent nearly $40,000 on entertainment, $108,506 on awards, and $48,484 on equipment and supplies.
Michigan State traveled 335 team and staff members for eight days to Dallas for $611,969. There were 386 band members and cheerleaders who spent four days there, and their transportation costs were $351,212. An official party was not listed on MSU’s records. Michigan State spent $963,181 on travel.
Meals and lodging for the MSU team and staff in addition to the band and cheerleaders was $378,378.
The Big Ten absorbed $226,590 in tickets.
Michigan State spent $14,385 on entertainment, $58,500 on awards, and $44,711 on equipment and supplies.