GSU could save $150k in football travel in Sun Belt

Georgia State projects an estimated savings of $150,000 in annual football travel costs once it joins the Sun Belt Conference in 2013.

The Panthers announced last week that they are leaving the Colonial Athletic Association, their home since 2005, and will join the Sun Belt in the summer of 2013. The reasons include the opportunity to play football on the FBS level, increased revenue from regional rivalries and, among the minor reasons, travel savings. The CAA spreads from Atlanta to Maine in football, and Atlanta to Boston in basketball. The geographic footprint raises travel costs for all teams.

The Sun Belt is based mostly in the South, with several schools within a five-hour drive from Atlanta. There are no CAA schools that close.

The Panthers athletic department projects a cost of $360,400 for four road games in the Colonial Athletic Association this season. The road games are William and Mary (578 miles), Rhode Island (1,039 miles), James Madison (447  miles) and Maine (1,335 miles). The estimate covers a traveling party of 105 people with charter flights, hotels, meals, buses and vans. The cost doesn’t include the trip to Tennessee.

Schedules for the 2013 Sun Belt season obviously aren’t complete. However, Georgia State estimates four road games; some are as far away as North Texas (819 miles) to as close as Troy (183 miles). The estimated cost of those four trips is $210,800.

The difference between the CAA and Sun Belt costs can be found in the number of  charter flights needed.

GSU is booking four charter flights for the CAA season. Only two will be needed in their Sun Belt estimate. The difference in those costs is $152,000.

This estimated savings shouldn’t be counted and spent yet. The Sun Belt isn’t done expanding (or contracting depending upon what happens in the Conference USA/Mountain West discussions). More regional rivals could be added. However, I would be surprised if any schools are added that are significantly further away than North Texas.

Last week I noted that the Sun Belt paid each of its schools $750,000 last year in revenue sharing, compared to the CAA giving GSU less than $200,000, according to the website www.caahoops.com.

– Doug Roberson, AJC. Please follow me on twitter @ajcgsu.

22 comments Add your comment

Dwayne Blupper

April 16th, 2012
11:57 am

first as usual

Panama

April 16th, 2012
11:58 am

No Brainer. Glad we’re going to the SBC

ajg-marietta

April 16th, 2012
12:01 pm

And fans can road-trip to in-conference away games. The move just seems like a no-brainer.

GSU2SB

April 16th, 2012
12:12 pm

Ya know, I was really excited to travel to Maine year in and out!

Sluggo

April 16th, 2012
1:12 pm

The savings are even greater when you consider Olympic sports. Great move! Onward and upward!

Sam

April 16th, 2012
1:18 pm

Thanks for the information, and thanks for putting something new on the GSU site. First time in about a week.

ajg-marietta

April 16th, 2012
1:21 pm

@Sam, unfortunately it’s that time of year. Doug, any chance there is another spring basketball signee?

Doug Roberson

April 16th, 2012
1:35 pm

I think there is. I’m talking to hunter tomorrow. Sorry the blog hasnt had a lot of stuff. I took a couple days off last week.

PantherCJ

April 16th, 2012
2:08 pm

Hope you had a good one doug. Has the administration said anything since our press conference that has indicated on what may or may not happen to the SBC down the road?

STATEment

April 16th, 2012
3:08 pm

I love the move. I am also interested on what is being said as far as additional teams being added/ taken away in the coming weeks? Any word? I really hope the SBC doesn’t get raided by CUSA! I would love to see a merger between the SBC and CUSA if they can’t find another partner! It would water down the competition level of CUSA, but would add greatly to their media market ownership and footprint in the South. Would make for some unreal rivalries!

Doug Roberson

April 16th, 2012
4:48 pm

I haven’t asked. There’s so much in flux right now.

Stateside

April 16th, 2012
6:35 pm

This move makes more and more sense every day.

State of Flux

April 16th, 2012
8:36 pm

No offense but who cares? We are in the SBC, Yeager is an idiot and beyond that nothing else matters. Ever wonder why GOD did not put eyes in the back of your head? Now you know.

State of Flux

April 16th, 2012
8:47 pm

Seriously though, since you are obviously starving to write something Doug, how about giving us some technical stats about the FB players progress in the weight room post Pollard? I.E. Press camp weight, post camp weight etc… I really want to know that he is or is not making an impact.

State of Flux

April 16th, 2012
8:49 pm

Sorry pre camp…

Doug Roberson

April 16th, 2012
8:51 pm

Flux: I can ask, but that information usually isn’t given out, and I really have no idea why some fans focus on it. The weights on the rosters are seldom accurate, and they don’t tell the complete picture..how much is muscle, how much is fat, where is the weight distributed, is it appropriate for the position, etc, etc

Die Troll 2: Troll Harder

April 16th, 2012
9:14 pm

SBC needs to add Charlotte for sure. Fun town to watch a game in, especially when an Atlanta team is beating that ass. Go State!

panther

April 16th, 2012
11:05 pm

Well, if we’re going that route…
I’m assuming we are losing North Texas and FIU. If that’s the case, we’ll be back down to 10 football teams (11 all sports). I would definitely add Charlotte for the market/basketball program assuming that they aren’t picked up elsewhere. That puts us back to 11 football teams, so we need one more. First i would look at UTSA or Texas State (UTSA might well get picked up by the Alliance, in which case we defer to TSU). So we would be looking at addition of Georgia State, Charlotte, UTSA/Texas State.

Incase you were wondering…

Back? So Soon?

April 17th, 2012
8:54 am

[...] State is still a part of our fun Association, and here’s Doug Roberson on projected cost savings for the football team. Editorial comment: Since GSU made a football decision, they need to take a [...]

GSUtimes2

April 17th, 2012
1:57 pm

1. This all works both ways. CAA teams should be thanking us for not having to make trips to Atlanta every year.

2. I second the thought on Charlotte. I’d really like them to be in the SBC. That’s a great city to visit and could be a regional rival.

Doug Roberson

April 17th, 2012
3:42 pm

Apparently, the C-USA/M-West merger may be off now. I don’t know how that could affect Sun Belt expansion. My first reaction is it won’t help because schools may not be left out. Flip side is perhaps there are schools that may want something more stable, as stable as any conference is nowadays.

Back? So Soon? | CAAZone.com

April 17th, 2012
11:00 pm

[...] State is still a part of our fun Association, and here’s Doug Roberson on projected cost savings for the football team. Editorial comment: Since GSU made a football decision, they need to take a [...]