Posted by Tom Fornelli
Earlier this week Maryland announced that it would be playing two upcoming home games at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. One against West Virginia in 2013, and again against Virginia Tech in 2014. While you'll hear reasons about getting the school more exposure in the city of Baltimore and hopefully picking up an edge in recruiting by playing in an NFL stadium, there's a bigger factor in Maryland's decision. One that the school isn't shying away from, either.
Maryland is going to make money off of these games. More money than if they'd just played the games at Byrd Stadium.
In an email to the Washington Post, Maryland's deputy director of athletics, Randy Eaton, says that the school is set to make about $3.5 million per game in Baltimore. That's compared to the $1.5 million the school normally makes for every game in Byrd Stadium, which means that's an extra $4 million in the school's coffers.
“In addition to all the other benefits of playing this type of game in Baltimore – extending our fan base, recruiting, enhancing the experience for our student-athletes and fans – the additional revenue is vital for the ongoing financial challenges facing Maryland athletics,” Eaton told the Washington Post.
Athletic director Kevin Anderson also told the paper that the school had been working on moving these games to Baltimore for six months, and that the financial benefits were a factor in the decision, and called the added revenue along with greater exposure for the school a "perfect storm."
Considering the decline in season ticket sales at Maryland the last few years -- a factor that played a role in Ralph Friedgen's dismissal -- this is a move that makes sense for the school, and I wouldn't be shocked to see Maryland schedule more games in Baltimore in the future. I know of at least one opponent Randy Edsall might like to play there.