Clemson Spent $19M on Trips, Tickets, Expenses for CFP Playoffs Since 2015

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistDecember 24, 2019

CLEMSON, SOUTH CAROLINA - SEPTEMBER 07: The Clemson Tigers touch Howard's Rock as they run onto the field before their game against the Texas A&M Aggies at Memorial Stadium on September 07, 2019 in Clemson, South Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Clemson has been one of college football's best teams in recent years, but that success carries a high cost. 

According to Manie Robinson of the Greenville News (via USA Today), the Tigers have spent a total of $19 million in expenses over the last four years for their College Football Playoff runs.

These expenses include a wide range of costs, including transportation, lodging, meals, tickets and entertainment. The athletics department pays for charter flights for the players, band travel and performance fees as well as game tickets for families and guests.

In January 2016 alone, Clemson paid $1.1 million for tickets for the school's first appearance in the CFP National Championship Game, a loss to Alabama. The Tigers returned to the title game two more times and beat the Crimson Tide in January 2017 and 2019.

Altogether, the squad has reached the national semifinals in each of the last four years, playing seven total games. 

While the titles have certainly helped generate revenue for the school, it has also led to heavy expenses for the athletic program. The school spent $5.3 million for the playoff during the 2015 season, $4.6 million in 2016, $2.2 million in 2017 and $6.9 million in 2018, per Robinson.

The College Football Playoff does provide funds to each participating school to offset expenses, totaling around $2 million each year. The ACC also provided a stipend to Clemson, totaling close to $500,000 for the 2016 Fiesta Bowl.

With the Tigers heading to the Fiesta Bowl this season for a semifinal matchup against Ohio State, it seems as though the spending is far from finished.