USF will receive no financial guarantee for its two upcoming football games at Notre Dame, including this season’s Sept. 19 contest in South Bend, according to the schools’ three-game contract.
The three-game contract was provided Wednesday to the Tampa Bay Times upon a public-records request. No dates have been set for the teams’ two subsequent matchups, including one in Tampa.
The contract also indicates if the Sept. 19 game isn’t played, the series’ remaining two games won’t be scheduled.
The absence of a financial guarantee stands in glaring contrast to most contests involving Power Five and Group of Five teams, which often represent a financial boon for the smaller schools.
USF, for instance, will receive a guaranteed $750,000 for its two upcoming trips to Gainesville to face the University of Florida; and was set to make $1.9 million for its Sept. 5 trip to Texas, which was called off when the coronavirus forced the alteration of college schedules nationally.
But the schools approached this three-game deal as more of a conventional home-and-home arrangement, with the 2019 contest representing a bonus for both teams in need of a game to fill their respective schedules.
Moreover, both schools will keep the ticket revenue for their respective home games, which should hugely benefit the Bulls, who could sell out Raymond James Stadium when the Fighting Irish visit.
Notre Dame recently announced attendance for its ’20 home games will be limited to no more than 20 percent of its stadium’s capacity, which equates to no more than 15,525 fans. USF has the option of purchasing 300 tickets for that game, according to the contract.
The contract also indicates if the Sept. 19 game occurs, both schools will have until Aug. 1, 2021 to agree on dates for the final two games of the series.
The contract’s cancellation provisions also are sprawling, with “epidemic or pandemic” listed as allowable grounds for a game in the series to be called off. Additionally, either team may cancel if required by its conference to play more regular season league games than normal.
As part of its affiliation with the ACC, Notre Dame must play 10 ACC foes this season, and five in normal years.
If either team cancels for a reason other than those outlined as allowable, the school in breach of the agreement must pay $500,000 if it cancels 18 months or more before the game’s scheduled date, or $1 million if it cancels less than 18 months before the contest.