Last fall, UH’s home game with Washington State was “sold” to ESPN Productions and branded the “Advocare Texas Kickoff” game. The event will be managed by Lone Star Sports & Entertainment (LSSE) in partnership with ESPN.
The contract was signed in June of this year despite being announced last October. Below are some of the major points in the deal and some thoughts:
UH will be paid $1,715,320 as a fee for moving the game to NRG Stadium. The school is required to purchase 12,584 tickets at a cost of $965,320. UH is entitled to retain the revenue from ticket re-sales.
The contract lists the price of tickets sold to UH:
UH included these in season ticket packages but because those prices do not align with the cost of a TDECU game for season ticket holders, the school will take a sizable loss off of the $1.7 million fee (i.e. the average UH ticket cost is $76.71).
The school is allowed to request more tickets than the 12,584 and will receive a 25% commission on those sales (ticket price excluding taxes and fees). Other than UH’s revenue derived from ticket re-selling, ESPN retains all advertising, sponsorship, and other revenue. UH and ESPN/LSSE will “settle up” by October 28, 2019.
The contract designates Houston as the home team with these contract provisions:
– UH was given 600 parking passes (200 platinum lot, 400 blue lot) for staff and season ticket holders. UH was required to provide all season ticket holders a pre-sale web link to purchase parking.
– UH will get the Texans lockerroom and wear “dark” uniforms.
– UH and Lone Star Sports & Entertainment (LSSE) will decide whether the roof is open or closed.
– The coaching staff must wear Advocare Texas Kickoff logos on their shirts.
– The end zones will be marked with HOUSTON similar to the 2016 Oklahoma game.
– As the visitor, Wazzu will arrange Pac-12 game officials and pay for them and their expenses. UH did the same for the AAC refs at Oklahoma.
As part of the deal, UH will receive (at no charge):
– Up to 5,000 seats for students including 2,000 in the lower level end zone.
– 500 tickets for VIPs, sponsors, staffers, etc.
– 400 tickets for the Spirit of Houston. All on-field dance team and cheer personnel also receive complimentary access.
– 20 spots in the “CougaRVillage”
– 350 complimentary tickets for Washington State as was required in the original contract between the schools.
– Four 20-person suites and one party suite (136 persons). UH is responsible for all food and beverage in the suites.
Until February 1, 2019, before the agreement was signed, UH had the right to purchase up to 27 addition 16-person suites at Texan/Rodeo pricing ($150/ticket). These suites are only available for UH suite holders. UH paid for each of the 27 suites at a total cost of $64,800.
According to Ticketmaster, Wazzu has less than 1000 seats to sell for the NRG game. The Cougs were given 3,500 as part of their deal to play at TDECU and NRG honored the same agreement.
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