Renting out a college basketball arena, it turns out, has quite a price tag.
The Ohio State Alumni Association made headlines early this week when it announced it had sold out a pep rally it was hosting at the University of Oklahoma’s basketball arena on Saturday, in anticipation of the two schools’ marquee matchup on the gridiron later that night.
The alumni association’s bill came to $21,316.78, according to a copy of the contract The Lantern obtained from the University of Oklahoma through a public-records request. This does not include the cost of food, transportation or decorations, such as balloons, according to the contract.
The rental fee for the arena, the Lloyd Noble Center, is $4,000. The bulk of the bill comes through various other expenses. Security is the second highest expense, totaling in at $3,018.52. Third highest was parking, which at $5 for each of the 400 reserved spots, amounted to $2,000.
Cabaret tables and tablecloth covers, apparently, are quite expensive. They, along with supplemental video screens, each cost $1,590 for the night.
Although it garnered widespread attention this week, the rally had been in the works for a while. Mark Beebe, the alumni association’s advancement finance director, signed the contract on May 27. Larry Naifeh, Oklahoma’s executive associate athletic director, made it official four days later, on May 31.
In early June an email with ticket information was sent out, said Chad Warren, the Alumni Association’s assistant vice president. It sold out shortly thereafter.
“This is a staple of the Alumni Association,” Warren said. “We always try and pick one or two or three games a year.”
The idea is to give alumni from around the country a place to all gather together and cheer on the Buckeyes, Warren said. The Alumni Association is also planning a similar bash in East Lansing, Michigan, when OSU takes on Michigan State in November.
Last year, road-game bashes were held at Rutgers and Virginia Tech.
Conveniently, an officially chartered branch of the Alumni Association formed last year in Oklahoma, Warren said.
To be clear, there will not be 11,562 Ohio State fans — the arena’s seat capacity — there on Saturday. Initial media reports were slightly misleading in that regard, Warren said.
The event will be held only on the floor and is limited to 800 people, meaning the cost breakdown, technically, is $26.64 per person. Tickets were sold for $20, Warren said, which brings the total rental cost to the Alumni Association to $5,316.78, not including the food or decorations. He added they usually try to make road bashes free when possible.
There will be tailgate-style food, three members of the 2002 OSU football team and tunes from the OSU marching band. University President Michael Drake is slated to be there, too, Warren said.
Additionally, the roughly 800 Buckeye fans at the rally won’t need to worry about wireless internet. It will be there. Better yet, the Alumni Association picked up that tab — for $500.