Grambling will receive the same guarantee for a return game to nearby FBS program Louisiana-Monroe, despite having helped to set a new home attendance record there on Nov. 20, 2007, drawing 30,101 fans.
GSU reportedly got a $100,000 guarantee back then. It will receive $100,000 again to return on Sept. 10 of this season and then again on Sept. 7 of 2013. Grambling officials initially estimated a total earnings figure of three times that amount for each of these contests, money that will have to come from added revenue streams — in particular, ticket allotments.
ULM gave Grambling 7,500 tickets, to be priced at $25 a piece. That figures to $187,500 in potential revenue. Grambling can also generate money from tailgating areas, according to the contract. (Those tickets will be distributed as follows: 50 tickets on the home side between the 40-yard lines; 1,000 tickets in sections 116-118; and 6,450 tickets in sections 211-219.)
[CLICK HERE to see the contract for Grambling’s 2011 and 2013 football games at Louisiana-Monroe.]
In total, that lines up with Grambling athletics director J. Lin Dawson’s initial comments on the ULM contest: “As the visiting team,” he said in a school release in January, “Grambling will make just over $300,000 for each game with very few expenses.”
But it will come to down to fan support for a game they’ve already seen. Last time, there was an historical backdrop as two north Louisiana college football programs faced off for the very first time. That novelty no longer exists.
On the upside, slating this game early in the season is a smarter decision — for fans, and perhaps for the teams, too. ULM had already played its way out of Sun Belt contention by the time this game kicked off in November 2007, something that perhaps had a chilling effect on home ticket sales. Grambling fans outnumbered their counterparts by a staggering amount. Meanwhile, Grambling’s stumble at Malone Stadium sent it into a three-game tailspin, culminating with a loss at the Southwestern Athletic Conference Championship Game against Jackson State.