It's not cheap to play in the postseason.
Texas Tech Super Regional
Texas Tech Super Regional
Schedule: Game 1 - Saturday 1 p.m.; Game 2 - Sunday, 3 p.m.; *Game 3 - Monday, 1 p.m.
Where: Rip Griffin Park (4,572), Lubbock, Texas
Records: CofC 44-17; Texas Tech 43-19
TV/Radio: ESPNU/ WTMZ 910-AM
Tickets: Sold out.
*-- if necessary
The price tag for the College of Charleston baseball team to compete in this weekend's super regional in Lubbock, Texas, is more than $55,000, though nearly all of the expenses will be picked up by the NCAA.
SUPER REGIONAL EXPENSES
Travel expenses for the College of Charleston baseball team's trip to Lubbock, Texas, for the NCAA baseball Super Regional:
Hotel: $15,000 (based on five-night stay)
After winning the Gainesville, Fla., regional on Monday and learning they were headed to Texas Tech, a flurry of behind-the-scenes activity was set into motion for the Cougars.
The logistics involved in getting 35 people halfway across the country in less than a week can be mind-boggling.
"There's a lot of work that goes into getting everyone to Texas," said Josh Bryson, the College of Charleston's Director of Facilities, Operations and Multimedia.
"We only had a couple of days to pull everything together, and that made our job that much tougher."
The Cougars' only other appearance in a super regional came in 2006 when they played Georgia Tech. That trip involved a five-hour bus ride to Atlanta.
It was the regional in Lexington, Ky., that proved to be a bigger headache in 2006. Bryson said the school's athletic officials learned a lot from their experience at that regional.
"In 2006, we had to fly to the regional in Lexington and that turned into a nightmare because we couldn't get everyone on the same flight," Bryson said. "Getting to the super regional was a lot easier than the regional that year because we just loaded everyone into a bus and took off."
Taking a bus to Lubbock for a 21-hour trip was out of the question. The Cougars' next decision came down to picking between commercial flights or chartering a plane. The average plane ticket earlier this week from Charleston to Lubbock was about $800. But finding a flight with 35 seats available turned into an impossible task. The NCAA finally came through for the Cougars and helped secure a charter flight, which ran about $30,000.
Then there's the hotel, which will run about $15,000, assuming the cost for 25 rooms is for five nights. Add three meals a day for 35 hungry coaches and players, another $7,000, and finally the $3,500 to rent a bus to take the team to and from Rip Griffin Park and their hotel.
The bottom line: about $55,500.
"That's if everything goes according to plan and we don't have any unexpected expenses pop up," Bryson said.
But the Cougars out of pocket cost won't be much because the NCAA is footing nearly 100 percent of the bill.
"We're trying to make this trip as budget neutral as we can," Bryson said.
For all the negative publicity the NCAA receives about making millions of dollars off amateur athletes, Bryson said most mid-major schools would find it difficult to travel in the postseason without the NCAA's help.
"All you hear about is the NCAA making millions of dollars for TV rights," Bryson said. "A lot of the money they make goes to cover travel expenses for tournaments like this and we're not the only tournament. You've got softball and track and field, tennis and all the other sports that go on during the spring. That adds up."
However, even if it cost the Cougars $55,000 to play in a super regional, head baseball coach Monte Lee said the investment would be well worth it. The publicity and national attention the program has received over the last week cannot be measured in any financial sense, Lee said.
"You can't put a dollar figure on the exposure we've received since going to the regional in Gainesville and winning it," Lee said. "We're been on ESPN, we've had a ton of newspaper articles written about us and we've been on radio shows. There's a buzz about our program that wasn't there a couple of weeks ago. That kind of publicity, that kind of exposure for a program like ours - you can't buy it."
The trip to the super regional also is paying dividends in recruiting.
"No question it's going to open some doors that might not have been open before," Lee said. "We when we go into a recruit's home, we talk about getting to the College World Series in Omaha (Nebraska) and now we can see it. It's not just a dream anymore. We're not there yet, but we can see Omaha. We can talk about those things and now it's a real possibility."
Unlike the NCAA basketball tournament, where schools receive shares of the profits and earn more money as they advance further in the tournament, getting to a super regional is no financial windfall.
"You don't get any money or shares for making a regional or super regional," Bryson said. "I think a lot of people assume that because that's the way the basketball tournament works."
The best-of-three super regional series begins Saturday.
Coach Monte Lee said the Cougars' postseason success is bringing valuable national attention to the program. "You canít buy it,Ē he said of the publicity. Wade Spees/ Staff×