Here’s a dispatch from the fringes of bowl hell: The Indiana Hoosiers, who played in a bowl game in Santa Clara, Calif. against the Utah Utes last December, sold less than 10 percent of their allotted tickets and technically lost money going to the game before the Big Ten conference intervened. According to a report from the Bloomington Herald-Times, the Hoosiers received a payout of $2,212,500 for playing in the game, but racked up $2,500,000 in expenses. IU was given 7,000 tickets to sell but only sold 672 of them. This is apparently nothing new.
This is the second year in a row the conference has helped IU cover the cost of unsold bowl game tickets. More than 4,000 of the 7,500 tickets allotted to IU for the 2015 New Era Pinstripe Bowl went unsold. IU only absorbed 950 of those unsold tickets, at a cost of about $84,000. The conference paid about $345,000 to cover the cost of 3,369 unsold tickets.