Texas Bowl loss still hurting Missouri

Ticket sales have come up short for recent bowl games.
A disappointed Missouri fan sits in the nearly empty stands during the fourth quarter of the Texas Bowl on Thursday, Dec. 31 in Houston. Missouri received less money from the Big 12 to go to the bowl, resulting in a loss of $10,000 to $20,000.

As much of a debacle as Missouri's 35-13 Texas Bowl loss was, the athletics department estimates it will also lose between $10,000 and $20,000 for going to the game.

This is the second straight year Missouri lost money playing postseason football. In the 2008 Alamo Bowl, the school lost about $30,000, but it broke even in the 2008 Cotton Bowl. Part of the reason for these insufficient funds is because the Big 12 gave Missouri about $500,000 less than the previous year for trip expenses.

Athletics department spokesman Chad Moller said because of lower funds, the team made cuts to its travel expenses.

"That's what we had to work with so we tried to make it the best bowl possible," he said. "We tried to be really judicious with how we spent money on events."

The Texas Bowl gave MU 11,000 tickets to sell to its students, and it ended up selling only 6,500. Coming up short on ticket sales is beginning to become a familiar feeling for MU. It was given 11,031 tickets for last year's Alamo bowl and sold 4,478. In the Cotton Bowl, though, Missouri sold 13,877 tickets of its 16,019 allotment. That came after one of the best years in program history, going 12-2 and winning the Big 12 North.

Although MU didn't sell all of its allotted tickets, that doesn't factor into the money the school lost; The Big 12 absorbs the cost of unsold tickets.

Some of Missouri's fellow bowl-bound teams in the Big 12 didn't have nearly as much trouble as the Tigers did when it came to selling tickets. Nebraska sold all 11,000 of its allotted tickets for this year's Holiday Bowl, according to the NU ticket office's spokesperson Jesse Enrich. Iowa State sold 8,000 tickets out of 10,500 for the Insight Bowl, according to the university ticket office.

Iowa State was selected for the Insight Bowl this year despite a 6-6 record and a loss to Missouri, who went 8-4. A similar situation happened the previous two years when the Gator Bowl picked Nebraska over Missouri in 2008 and the Orange Bowl picked Kansas ahead of the Tigers in 2007, despite Missouri victories against both those teams.

Moller said going to the Texas Bowl instead of the Insight Bowl wasn't a problem, but the financial gap between teams could be fixed.

"We would like to see there not be such a difference between the financial payout within the Big 12 hierarchy," he said. "That's something that's going to be discussed and we would be in favor of that model."

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