Hosting a game in the College Basketball Invitational postseason tournament doesn’t come without cost, but Coastal Carolina believes it has the financial support in place to foot the bill without dipping into university funds.
The university paid $40,000 to CBI organizers to host its first round game against Hampton University at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the HTC Center, according to CCU director of athletics Matt Hogue, which is consistent with the structure of the 10-year tournament.
The university has contingencies in place to handle most if not all of the cost, Hogue said.
Primarily, the school has postseason provisions written into the agreements with many of the businesses that sponsor the basketball program and advertise at its home games.
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“We have the support model to make the commitment financially,” Hogue said. “Our expectation is it will cover it all.”
You go into these things thinking you can cover it. We could spend money in a surplus fund if we had to. We’re always prepared financially to handle these scenarios when our teams are afforded opportunities, but we try to come up with a plan where we recoup it through generated revenues, which I think we’ll be able to do that in this case.
CCU director of athletics Matt Hogue
Ticket sales, concession sales and possible revenue from a television broadcast will play a role in covering the cost, as well.
If there is a cost to the university, Hogue believes it’s validated by the added exposure the team will receive.
“I think it’s a great value for us because we continue to play this time of year when everybody is focused on postseason basketball,” Hogue said. “There’s a marketing value to it as well.”
Coastal didn’t know whether it would be hosting or traveling in the first round when it accepted the bid to the 16-team CBI tournament.
“We weren’t sure if we’d be a host site, but we committed to be and the bracket worked out for us to host one,” Hogue said. “Given how well our team performed in conference play – going into the final weekend we had a chance to tie for third in the league – we felt it was a worthy pursuit to play once we received the invitation.”
Hogue believes the second/quarterfinal round has a similar host fee before the parameters change for the semifinals. The Chants would face either Loyola (Md.) or George Mason in the second round, and CBI officials determine the host teams after the first round.
Coastal Carolina is responsible for its own television production of the first round game through Lucky Dog Productions of Conway, and is working on syndication to expand the broadcast markets. The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce and its website VisitMyrtleBeach.com will be a supporter of the television broadcast.
“Hopefully [Tuesday] we’ll have the final word on where it is telecast, but it will move beyond the local market,” Hogue said. “I wouldn’t say it’s any more work than we encounter for a normal game. We produce a web streaming broadcast every time we play a game, men or women. The game-day environment will operate as a normal game day.”
Hogue expects and hopes to see attendance Wednesday meet or exceed the average for the final five home games, which was listed at more than 1,750 per game, both for the bottom line and support of the team. Tickets are $10-$15 and as always, students get in free.
“You go into these things thinking you can cover it,” Hogue said. “We could spend money in a surplus fund if we had to. We’re always prepared financially to handle these scenarios when our teams are afforded opportunities, but we try to come up with a plan where we recoup it through generated revenues, and I think we’ll be able to do that in this case.”