College football guarantee games: A gig economy worth more than $175 million this season

Its 3rd down and 4 whats your call coach?
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College football guarantee games: A gig economy worth more than $175 million this season

Post by J.J. » Wed Aug 29, 2018 6:53 pm

College football’s version of the gig economy gets rolling Thursday, as teams across the country begin the annual ritual of playing one-time, non-conference games in exchange for huge payouts.

This season, well over $175 million will change hands just for teams getting on the field for these so-called “guarantee” games, according to an analysis of more than 275 contracts for matchups involving teams in the NCAA’s top-level Bowl Subdivision.

While some of these agreements involve series of games on equal and relatively modest terms, the real money is elsewhere.

It’s in about a dozen contests at off-campus sites, like the weekend’s featured matchups: No. 6-ranked Washington vs. No. 10 Auburn on Saturday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, and No. 8 Miami (Fla.) vs. No. 24 LSU at AT&T Stadium on Sunday night in Arlington, Texas. Those games will provide the participating schools a combined total of more than $50 million in appearance fees that come with strings, including a need to sell tens of thousands of tickets schools agree to purchase from third-party organizers.

Meanwhile, millions more will come directly from the schools with the wealthiest athletics departments. In at least 45 instances this season, one of those schools will pay at least $1 million to a lower-scale opponent while aiming to fill vast stadiums and — at least theoretically — get an impressive victory with minimal risk of defeat. Then there is Liberty, which is paying Old Dominion $1.32 million to play a game Saturday in Lynchburg, Va., that will be its first as an FBS school.

More than 15 games this season will give the visiting team at least $1.4 million. ... 131488002/


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