- Feb 10, 2005
- Reaction score
- Montgomery, Al
Economic Impact of Texas A&M Moving to SEC
Posted by Kristi Dosh
Last time I checked, the SEC doesn’t require schools to physically move when they join the conference. There are no plans for Texas A&M to relocate to Mississippi, Alabama or Georgia in order to join the SEC. You won’t be driving down the highway and see half a building on a semi trailer. Nope, Texas A&M will be staying in College Station.
Why then the cries of poverty in Texas should Texas A&M leave the Big 12? According to a report by the Perryman Group, even if the Big 12 stays intact, the economic impact of Texas A&M joining the SEC is a reduction of $217.2 million in gross product and 3,050 jobs on the Texas economy. Huh?
Unfortunately, Mr. Perryman dosen’t give us any indication as to how he arrived at his numbers. That makes it difficult for me to comment other than to say that I don’t see it.
Texas A&M will still be located in College Station, Texas. It will still play seven to eight home games in College Station. If anything, I think you will see an increase in economic impact in College Station as SEC fans, who are known to travel, descend upon the town. There are no SEC schools within reasonable same-day driving distance (which can’t be said for Baylor, Texas and maybe even Texas Tech), so that means more fans staying in local hotels, eating in local restaurants, and purchasing from local stores.
Most would agree a move to the SEC will benefit Texas A&M. In addition to what I’ve already mentioned, it will see a rise in conference distributions. In 2010, the Big 12 distributed $139 million between member institutions. As most of you are aware, the Big 12 does not distribute television money equally. According to Texas A&M financial documents, their portion of the conference distribution was $9.3 million, not including bowl game reimbursements. Meanwhile, over in the SEC $209 million was distributed equally between member institutions in 2010 for a total of $17.42 million each, not including bowl reimbursements.
That means Texas A&M would have nearly doubled its conference receipts if it had been in the SEC last year. That is, of course, not taking into account the SEC revenue pie being split into smaller slices with the addition of Texas A&M and presumably at least one other school. However, the SEC wouldn’t be adding members if it weren’t confident it was getting enough from a new television contract to keep conference distributions at or above current levels.
Travel expenses will obviously increase for the four conference games that the Aggies would play away from College Station. However, the number will be more than covered by the increase in conference distribution. I don’t have a number for Texas A&M, but in looking at Ohio State’s budget having an extra away game in 2011 only increased the football travel budget by $140,000. Obviously, travel would increase across all sports, but I’m positive the nearly double conference distribution will take care of that.
What is the impact on the Big 12? The biggest concern would be the conference folding. However, I believe as long as Texas and Oklahoma stay put, the conference will remain. At least for now.