“What you have is a meeting of the minds to take care of our institutions,” he said.
Ticket revenue from the game will be evenly shared between LA Tech and Grambling to the first $400,000. The next $100,000 will be split 75 percent to Tech and 25 percent to Grambling.
Any ticket revenue above $500,000 will again be shared evenly, according to the contract signed by Dawson and LA Tech athletics director Bruce Van de Velde.
That $75,000 difference in total revenue opportunity was both something to lure quality opponents to the series and something easily made up for in other income areas, Dawson said.
“It’s a unique model where an FCS school serves as a host to an FBS team,” Dawson said. “Usually in a model like that, there are game guarantees. Here, there is no game guarantee. As sister institutions, we’re working together. It’s a great deal for both of us.”
By way of comparison, Dawson said Grambling was guaranteed $345,000 to play Oklahoma State last season, but cleared just $285,000 after expenses.
As for the rest of the Port City Classic revenue streams, Grambling will keep all proceeds from souvenirs, game-day booklets and print media ads. Each school will have the right to set up bookstore booths to sell additional items.
Grambling retains rights to the Port City Classic name, and hopes to schedule future games against other opponents — perhaps as many as two or three additional contests, Dawson said.
Dawson added that LA Tech made an ideal initial opponent because of its regional fanbase. Meaning, this might be a more favorable deal than another school would have gotten, but Tech brought its own favorables in the Shreveport market.
“This agreement could be used as model,” Dawson said, “but if we were to play another opponent, that doesn’t mean the contract would be similar. Tech has a significant number of alumni in Shreveport area. The conditions were so right.”
The contract stipulates that LA Tech Sports Properties, a division of Learfield Sports, will sell corporate sponsorships for the game. Grambling is to receive 40 percent of those revenues, with the exception of contacts made first by Grambling when GSU would receive 50 percent.
All parking revenue will be shared with the city of Shreveport.
“There is information out there that one of the better of the other, and that’s incorrect,” Dawson said. “It’s mutually beneficial, a great deal for both institutions. They will meet some of their financial goals, and we will too. We have an opportunity to brand the Port City Classic, and that will mean extra money from vendors, and printed materials, as well. Everyone will benefit.”
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