The Coastal Carolina football program has a signed contract to play at SEC foe Arkansas on Nov. 4, 2017, for a $1.5 million guarantee, athletic director Matt Hogue confirmed Saturday.
It’s the largest financial payout the Chanticleers have ever received for a guarantee game “by far,” Hogue said.
“They were in a situation where they were still looking for ’17. We were still looking for what game would be our guarantee game, and our goal obviously is to maximize revenue and they were in a position to do that so that’s where we decided to go,” Hogue said.
The program had earlier signed on to play at UCLA during the 2023 season for a $1.1 million guarantee and will continue to look to add one of these games each season corresponding to the team’s move up to the Sun Belt Conference and FBS level in 2017.
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Jumping from the FCS to the FBS allows for significantly larger paydays than the $350,00-$500,000 the school used to receive to play opponents from the traditional five power conferences.
And it’s a revenue stream the Chants are now counting on to help with the move up to the next level.
“Institutionally we knew with this move, each schedule would need to include at least one of those games,” Hogue said. “… Considering right now our strategy is really to play one [Power 5 opponent] out of our four non-conference games, we were able to maximize the dollars. And I think that will be the plan going forward.”
That 2017 non-conference schedule is almost complete now as the Chants previously announced they will be hosting Massachusetts and playing at Alabama-Birmingham that season. The missing piece will be a game with an FCS opponent that is still to be worked out and finalized.
As for the Arkansas game, that will be the Chants’ third ever game against an SEC opponent following trips to Georgia in 2011 and South Carolina in 2013.