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OSU turned down $6M to move Georgia game

Published by admin on September 10, 2009

As I wandered around Stillwater late after Oklahoma State’s victory over Georgia, I marveled at how important a competitive athletic program is to the economic health of a college community.

Fans were still mingling in the restaurants and streets across downtown Stillwater. It was clear that the Cowboys’ triumph was still being toasted and relived for many hours after the game.

I was reminded of that earlier this week when Oklahoma State athletic director Mike Holder mentioned that he was offered $6 million extra to move that game to the new Dallas Cowboys’ stadium in Arlington, Texas.

The Cowboys make about $2.5 million per game at home, according to the Oklahoman. And they were offered the opportunity to move the Georgia game to the new stadium where they would have made $8.5 million when all of the revenue sources were included.

That extra money would be a salvation to any athletic department anywhere. And that includes tTexas, Ohio State and the rest.

But the Cowboys had aimed to make the rededication of Boone Pickens Stadium special.

And they lived up to it with an impressive 24-10 victory over the Bulldogs that was keyed with an un-Cowboy-like defensive performance.

It couldn’t have gone much better. Pickens said the victory made all of his investments in his old school’s athletic program worthwhile — a total estimated at $458 million.

Holder turned down the chance for extra money and his school benefited from it.

“I try to make a decision based on what gives us the best chance to win,” Holder told the Oklahoman.

A week later the Cowboys have soared to No. 5 in the Associated Press poll — their highest rating in nearly 25 years. Their chances to be competitive in the Big 12’s South Division have never looked brighter.

Holder’s decision to leave $6 million on the table by keeping the game at home now appears to be worth every penny.

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