Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Report: Univ. of Kentucky Wildcats getting $350,000 to play at Barclays Center (originally Nassau)

Thanks to an open-records request, the Louisville Courier-Journal's Kyle Tucker can report UK basketball getting paid to hit road in 2016-17 and, guess what, the University of Kentucky's often top-ranked Wildcats will have their biggest road payday in December at the Barclays Center.

The team will get $950,000 for four neutral-site games, including $350,000 facing Hofstra University in Brooklyn.

Notably, the fee will be paid by Nassau Events Center, which is the entity--now controlled by Mikhail Prokhorov's Onexim--that is renovating the Nassau Coliseum, and the game was announced with much fanfare as opening the revamped arena. However, given delays, it will be in Brooklyn.

The fees aims to cover the team's travel, lodging and food--plus, in this case, $25,000 for the local Hofstra team--but Tucker reports that the team should do more than break even. (The big revenue comes at home.)

The other non-conference games include $250,000 at Madison Square Garden (paid by ESPN), $225,000 at Las Vegas's MGM Grand Arena (paid by CBS Sports), and $125,000 Atlantic, Paradise Island in the Bahamas (paid by Island Hotel Company).

It's unclear what the ancillary deals are in Brooklyn, but presumably the Barclays Center--which has the same parent as Nassau Events Center--will get a fee for television rights.

Hofstra might draw a more significant crowd of locals at the Nassau Coliseum, but I can't imagine the rivalry--Hofstra, if successful, plays in the NIT post-season tournament, not the NCAA tournament--will produce top-dollar tickets.

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