Wednesday, August 26, 2009
IU agrees to move game for $3 million
ESPN.com news services
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana has agreed to move a home game against Penn State next season to FedEx Field, home of the Washington Redskins.
The Hoosiers will receive $3 million in return for moving the game on Nov. 20, 2010.
"We needed to have this extraordinary financial commitment to make it worth our while, frankly," Indiana athletic director Fred Glass said. "We put up a big number there that we thought actually might scare them off. We'd find out if they were serious or not. And they embraced that.
"They had wanted a higher ticket guarantee than the one we ultimately agreed to. I wanted a ticket number that we could accomplish very easily. I didn't want to be chasing my tail and eating into my payout because I came up short of my ticket guarantee. They were very cooperative, very collaborative."
Hoosiers coach Bill Lynch called the change a win-win situation for the program, which has expressed interest in recruiting the Washington area.
"The first person I talked to was Bill Lynch because if he didn't want to do it, no amount of money would be worth going against what he felt we needed to do from a competitive perspective," Glass said. "Sure, it'll be a different atmosphere, although not necessarily a more negative atmosphere. We think a lot of IU fans are going to be in there. When you have the energy of 90,000 people, that's pretty exciting."
The Hoosiers still must sell 7,000 tickets for the game. The stadium seats more than 91,000.
"We're going to promote this aggressively with our alumni base and our season-ticket base, and I think we'll jump over that 7,000 pretty well," Glass said. "There's 10,000 alumni just in the District of Columbia from Indiana University, let alone in the broader region. So we think we'll be a pretty good draw and draw a lot of IU fans there.
"But I went into this with the calculus that there's going to be a lot of Penn State people there and this may end up looking a lot a Penn State home game. I took that into account and won't be surprised or regret that we went with the game if it ends up having a big Penn State crowd. It will be a big-time atmosphere, and that will be pretty exciting."
Indiana said it will look to add another home game to the 2010 schedule. Glass said an agreement to add a sixth home game in Bloomington is nearly finalized.
FedEx Field also will host a game between Boise State and Virginia Tech on Oct. 2, 2010.
Information from ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg and The Associated Press was used in this report.