UC takes a sponsorship hit but gains in ticket sales

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Scoring a UC touchdown at Paul Brown Stadium is helping more than just the scoreboard.

UC hosting West Virginia set a season record for attendance, nearly 50,000, at maximum capacity Nippert Stadium can hold 35,000.

That additional revenue is needed after a more than $1 million loss in sponsorship money.

College football games against Louisville and West Virginia at Paul Brown Stadium kept UC's main vendor, IMG College, from closing on several deals because it conflicted with the Bengals.

For example, Skyline Chili, Donatos Pizza and PNC Bank are UC sponsors but the Bengals have Gold Star Chili, LaRosa's Pizza and Fifth Third Bank

"We wanted to make sure that we could bring our sponsors down to PBS, in those three cases we had difficulty because of exclusive partnerships that they had," said deputy director of athletics Bob Arkeilpane.

Between both games the university sold nearly 90,000 tickets.

"At both the Louisville game and the West Virginia game, the student turnout was very very solid," says Arkeilpane.

Student fans and alumni filling the seats is an obvious revenue booster for the university which helps balance out the loss of sponsorship dollars.

"It's too early to project how much of that we may have recouped back based on the additional ticket sales," says Arkeilpane.

UC Senior Jordan Mauri is loving the added space and extra hype around UC games at PBS.

"Tailgating is always fun. We don't really tailgate here, some of the parents come and tailgate but there is no big parking lots where everybody goes and tailgates," says Mauri.

But not all UC students are convince, some miss the on-campus convenience and the sense of playing in Bearcat Country.

"It takes away from having the home advantage even with being a couple miles away, it still takes away," says freshman Ryan Blanford.

Blanford is a cheerleader who travels with the team and understands the bigger games at a bigger stadium but does not want to see every game at PBS.

"With the steep walls [at Nippert] it gets a lot louder than it does down at Paul Brown," says Blanford.

But UC hasn't decided anything yet.

"We also really have to consider what the future is going to be for UC athletics and it could, it still has to be analyzed that could involve playing some more games at PBS," says Arkeilpane.

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