Thursday, January 15, 2015

Kentucky's Exhibition Trip to the Bahamas Came with a Hefty Price Tag

In August, the Kentucky Wildcats embarked on a eight-night exhibition tour to the Bahamas.

The trip might have been just what the young Wildcats needed to prepare for what could possibly be an historic run this season, but the trip carried a hefty price tag.

The Courier-Journal discovered through an open records request that the entire trip came at a cost of just under $800,000.

The Wildcats even paid travel expenses for their three opponents in the Bahamas.

The school was able to pay a large portion of the bill with money obtained through donations

In the end, UK paid expenses totaling $431,836.10 - which they say was just under their budget for the trip.

Here is an excerpt:

UK's own team expenses were eye-opening, too, from coach John Calipari's $1,550-per night Atlantis hotel suite to a $23,855.50 reception dinner that included a band and an open bar.

The total cost of the trip was $792,845.68. By comparison, an expense report acquired in an open records request showed that North Carolina's Bahamas trip last summer cost $154,825.91. Portland State, meanwhile, paid a total of $37,714 for its seven-night stay.

"I needed professional-level teams," Wildcats coach John Calipari said this season. "I needed men. I needed experienced, physical guys that knew how to play. That's what this team needed, which is different. That's why most teams don't do what we've just done."

UK offset some costs by providing flights, lodging and tickets for 57 UK boosters who donated $6,000 apiece, contributing a total of $347,047.30. UK also received $17,962.28 in ticket revenue. Even with those adjustments, the final expenses were $431,836.10, nearly three times more than North Carolina's entire trip.

UK paid for 18 rooms for the Dominican Republic national team for six nights, 14 rooms for the Puerto Rican national reserves for six nights and 14 rooms for Champagne Chalons-Reims Basket for seven nights—each at $225 per room, per night. It also spent a total of $72,750 on airfare for the three teams, and $100 per day for their individual meal plans, totaling $36,000.

Complete Article

Numbers like those would even get the "Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase excited:

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