The spending spree was bigger & better in Jacksonville last year. M~State has more money than you think. They keep sandbagging the entire, "We are one of the little schools" & don't report accurate numbers of their athletic budget on purpose. The fans are the same way. Very humble. All but 1 (Houston game) of Dan Mullen's tenure home games has been SOLD OUT. 3 years of all home games sold out (once again the Houston game his 1st season). M~State doesn't have the largest stadium or budget, but they are the school that supports all 3 of their sports the most in the SEC. If Rick Stansbury would be fired, I bet you there would be waiting list for basketball season tickets again. Over 1,000 students come to the baseball game each home game (and plenty of season tickets are sold each season to alums to put them top 10 nationally, sadly we were #1 for well over a decade in the 80's & 90's), they heavily support basketball, & sell out football. Largest jumbo tron in baseball & football, new football facility being built (with offices), PLUS they have 2 indoor facilities for football, indoor facility for baseball, a new basketball facility, new baseball offices, was the 1st in the SEC to build an academic center for athletics.... all of this in the last few years. Lets not forget about the stadium expansion going on in football either. It will never be the biggest. It will never have the most money (or budget), but that entire, "we are just a small school & can't compete...." that is sandbagging. They aren't a top 10 team yet, but it wasn't long ago (1999 & 2000) that we were, & had the best SEC West record in a 5 year span. No one was better for 5 years in the SEC West (football) than M-State. Hey they are currently the 5th best team in the West. Agreed. They also haven't seen the fruits of their labor come about yet with Mullen either.
College football bowl games were started for one reason — to bring in tourist dollars by inviting two groups of fans to town for a football game. That was the gist. All of it. Nothing more. And that remains the case today. Bowl selection committees look at a lot of factors, but in the end they will pick the schools that they believe will draw the most fans to town and catch the most eyeballs on television.
For that reason, Mississippi State fans did their school a big favor this past December. The Music City Bowl drew more than 55,000 fans and an estimated 37,000 of them came from out of town to fill up more than 26,000 hotel rooms. MSU’s enrollment is more than 20,000. Wake Forest — the Dogs’ opponent — has an enrollment of less than 5,000. It’s safe to say that most of the people traveling to Tennessee for the game had ties to State, not Wake.
Now figure in how much food, booze, gasoline, souvenirs, and other items those people purchased and you can grasp why Music City Bowl officials claim their game had a $22.2 million economic impact on the city of Nashville.
And you can be certain that other bowl committees will consider those numbers the next time Mississippi State becomes available to their postseason exhibition.