George Mason’s Final Four run of 2006 is of course in the news again due to Jim Larranaga and Miami playing in the Sweet 16 at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC. Besides all the trips down memory lane, I thought it was interesting some for financial numbers being talked about again. Some are comparing the costs for the NCAA tournament travel and other expenses for smaller schools that have made runs because of Florida Gulf Coast’s current position. ESPN’s Darren Rovell shares some interesting costs that George Mason had to fork over in 2006:
A source close to the George Mason athletic department told ESPN.com that the school lost hundreds of thousands of dollars that were not reimbursed during its 2006 run to the Final Four. One of the culprits: The school still had to pay for hotel rooms even though it played its Sweet 16 and Elite Eight games in Washington D.C., just 20 miles from the school. However, it was a good trade off as George Mason professor concluded that the team’s performance in the tournament that year was worth more than $677 million in free publicity to the school.
There was a 25 percent surge in the number of alumni who were considered active with the university’s alumni association. A $100 million fund-raising campaign attracted $132 million in donations.
The George Mason bookstore took in more money in March 2006 ($800,000) than it did the entire rest of the year ($625,000). Enrollment in the annual summer basketball camp more than doubled. N.C.A.A. licensing revenue went up by $100,000.
I know a lot of people already knew this information but just found some if interesting and it’s such a bigger deal for schools like George Mason, VCU, and Florida Gulf Coast to make deep runs in the tournament