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Costly victories: USF must pay CBI group $80,000

Success in the postseason has come at a price for the Bulls men’s basketball team.
USF sophomore David Collins (0) helped the Bulls edge Stony Brook, 82-79, in overtime in the opening round of the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) at the Yuengling Center on March 20. [MONICA HERNDON | Times]
USF sophomore David Collins (0) helped the Bulls edge Stony Brook, 82-79, in overtime in the opening round of the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) at the Yuengling Center on March 20. [MONICA HERNDON | Times]
Published Mar. 28, 2019

The USF men's shining moment isn't exactly brightening the athletic department's bottom line.

For the right to host the first two rounds of the 16-team College Basketball Invitational, the Bulls owe the sports-marketing group that operates the tournament an $80,000 guarantee, according to terms of the event contract signed by the school.

Additionally, USF must give the group 100 percent of the gross ticket receipts from tonight’s CBI semifinal game against Loyola Marymount at the Yuengling Center.

USF provided the contract Thursday morning upon a public-records request from the Tampa Bay Times. Bulls athletic director Michael Kelly reiterated Thursday he deems the tournament ― USF’s first postseason appearance since 2012 ― a sound investment at this juncture.

“Obviously it’s getting us more practice, more game experience, new tournament experience,” Kelly said. “And for a young team, it’s definitely the right thing at this stage in our development.”

View USF’s contract with the College Basketball Invitational

The contract indicates for each game a participant hosts in the first two rounds, it must pay a $40,000 guarantee to the Gazelle Group, a New Jersey-based outfit that puts on a handful of college basketball events each year. The host school retains all ticket revenues from those games.

USF defeated Stony Brook and Utah Valley in the CBI's opening rounds at the Yuengling Center. The contests drew a combined total of 3,384 fans.

Related: CBI gives Bulls hoops a bowl season

The Bulls owe no such guarantee for tonight’s semifinal against LMU, but USF must give the Gazelle Group 100 percent of the gross ticket receipts.

The school, as host, also must handle all normal game-day operations and provide all normal staffing at its own expense. Additionally, it must turn over all its gross ticket receipts for any game it hosts in the best-of-three championship round.

“Every time we play a team here (in non-conference play), we have fees associated with it if you think about it,” Kelly said.

The Gazelle Group foots the travel expenses (travel, food, lodging) for visiting teams, up to a certain amount. In the case of air fare, visiting teams (maximum 22 people) must travel via a company designated by Gazelle to handle air transportation.

If USF (21-13) wins tonight, it faces DePaul in the best-of-three championship round. The contract indicates either the Bulls or Blue Demons would host two games, if a third contest is necessary.

Contact Joey Knight at jknight@tampabay.com. Follow @TBTimes_Bulls.

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