Times have been difficult financially for many people, businesses and institutions of higher learning. This includes athletic departments across the country.
Wisconsin and Barry Alvarez have decided to help fill the gap by announcing a Badger Legacy campaign to help mitigate the potential loss of football and/or fans in the stands.
#Wisconsin has outlined the stark financial realities of no football season ($100 million) or a season with limited or no fans at home games ($60-70 million). The school today announced a new fundraising push, The Badger Legacy campaign: https://t.co/ERN0PvLMgN— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) August 5, 2020
I care about the solvency of Wisconsin. I want the Badger program to survive this year of Covid. I want my favorite team to beat them every time they face each other, but that cannot happen if the Wisconsin athletic department becomes as extinct as Badger Baseball.
So we are here to help. We’d like to offer these revenue generating ideas to Mr. Alvarez and the Badger athletic department to help them balance the budget.
Charge rent to PJ Fleck
Since Fleck has taken over the Gophers program and particularly after he beat the Badger football team in Madison in 2018, he has been living rent free in their minds.
Let me present to you Exhibit A from Zach Heilprin, sports director at Madison’s sports radio.
As for me? I have never once looked at another program’s schedule graphic and really cared one way or another about it. But this one has struck a chord with at least someone in the Wisconsin base.
Let’s not also forget a couple weeks ago when Badger fans (led by Bucky’s 5th Quarter) were making fun of the Gopher’s Outback Bowl rings, highlighting the 2019 season. For future reference we will be sure to take ring notes from Wisconsin’s Pinstrip Bowl ring as proper protocol.
The point is that particularly Badger fans (and Reusse) get really bent out of shape over PJ Fleck. Other than being a really animated and excitable head coach he has done nothing to them (except beat them in Madison). For not really considering Minnesota rival and certain that Fleck is a clown, he really occupies a lot of their headspace.
If Barry charged rent, it may be a significant revenue source. We know that Camp Randall holds 80,321 jumping fans and as a part of this Badger Legacy campaign they are expecting to lose $30M in tickets/concession revenue. Charging PJ Fleck $37.35 for each fan for all 10 games would recoup that revenue loss.
And now we are 30% of the way to the $100M goal.
Curbside Beer Pickup
No fans at games? No tailgating? How about boosting that concessions revenue with curbside beer pickup? These are the kind of outside the box ideas that Alvarez should be seeking, as opposed to asking the old boys club for more money.
This might be a huge revenue generator. I know that you’re thinking you’d only get fans who live in the Madison area and you probably won’t sell that many glasses of Miller Lite or Spotted Cow. But the beauty is that the people who drive from the Dells would buy quite a bit to drink as they make the 40 min drive home.
And not only can you do this on Saturday’s, but you could provide this service to your fanbase on Sunday’s as well for Packer games. Easily doubling your concessions revenue.
This may essentially double your concessions revenue. All while doing it safely, with little contact, in a Covid world.
Rose Bowl Drive Ins
To the Badger’s credit they have been to 4 Rose Bowls in the last 10 years. Of this, I am incredibly jealous.
In a world where we cannot really occupy movie theaters but we can do drive ins, why not use this as an opportunity to sell tickets for Badger fans to watch their team in the Rose Bowl.
This could be done over 4 different Saturday evenings leading up to start of the 2020 season.
- August 8 - 21-19 loss to TCU
- August 15 - 45-38 loss to Oregon
- August 22 - 20-14 loss to Stanford
- August 29 - 28-27 loss to Oregon
If there was a win in there, you could probably charge double. Not only can you sell admission to the Rose Bowl viewing parties, but you can sell concessions. I suspect in the second halves, beer sales would go up dramatically. Maybe they should offer liquor in the second halves or double the price of Spotted Cow.
I’m sure there are many more creative revenue suggestions for the Badgers. But for now, these should certainly help.