Win or lose, Rose Bowl boosts U of U at almost every level

Jan 4, 2023, 9:37 AM | Updated: 9:40 am

SALT LAKE CITY — Even though the Rose Bowl game didn’t go Utah’s way, it still delivers what University President Taylor Randall calls a “halo effect” to nearly every aspect of the school.

“This is one of the most amazing things the university has ever had happen to it. Two in a row. Can you believe it? I thought last year was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Randall said.

For starters, enrollment saw a boost. Applications increased after 2022’s Rose Bowl by 10%. According to Randall, they would expect to see another bump in applications, mostly from out of state, but also from in-state students.

“There were only two universities this past year in the state that grew their full-time enrollment — that was us and Utah State. And I think our blip was completely attributed to good recruiting, but then also the lift of the Rose Bowl,” he said.

The school also benefits financially. On average, Randall said schools see donations increase in a range of $700,000 to $1 million.

Rose Bowl revenue is split among teams in the PAC-12. College Playoff Football News estimates that revenue distribution for a Rose Bowl game, when combined with the base pool for meeting Academic Performance Review, is about $74 million for each conference.

The U gets additional dollars from game tickets in their sold-out stadium. The new Ken Garff Red Zone addition, with premium seating and club options, sold out in a matter of months.

The school also profits from official merchandise, which has been flying off shelves since the U won the chance to play in the Rose Bowl.

Randall pointed out that many of the benefits from the “halo effect” don’t carry a price tag.

“More than anything, it is just the energy that (Rose Bowl games) bring to the University of Utah that I think we all feed off of,” he said.

Students benefit from that excitement on campus. The number of students who attended the game this year doubled from 1,500 to 3,000.

Student athletes stand to make more money across the board, with the NCAA’s Name, Image and Likeness rule. University Athletic Director Mark Harlan said Utah football athletes had about $2 million in deals and contracts. The school’s higher profile is spreading more financial opportunities to athletes in other sports.

Finally, the high profile from the Rose Bowl helps the U recruit everything from higher caliber athletes, faculty and researchers.

About the only area Randall isn’t sure the Rose Bowl glow will help is at the upcoming State Legislature. But even there, he hopes lawmakers see how a growing student body can fuel the already strong momentum in Utah’s labor force.

“We’re growing, we’re accelerating, and you’re seeing more and more excellence. And when you have more people excited and in a good mood, it’s a great place to be,” he said.

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Win or lose, Rose Bowl boosts U of U at almost every level