Boise State officials are still contemplating what to do with the projected $3.5 million that the university will get for playing in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl on New Year's Day. But most officials, including President Bob Kustra, expect the cash to flow into the school's athletics program.
"Most of that money will go into upgrading athletic facilities, would be my guess," said Stacy Pearson, Boise State's vice president for finance and administration.
But the decision won't get made until the school's Administrative Council meets to make a recommendation.
Pearson said Kustra has asked for funding proposals to spend as much as a half-million on academic projects, but that the rest is likely to go into sports-related spending.
One potential sink for the cash: the $7 million skybox plan now underway, so the school can build, then sell tickets for, luxury skyboxes for bigwigs. Because the school's athletic department has to raise most of its own money (it gets some from the school, and some from student fees) the bowl cash is "like found money" for the sports department, said Boise State spokesman Frank Zang.
"I can't stress enough how much the university is benefiting beyond the payout of the bowl game," Zang said. "The attention that we've gotten has been unprecedented." He added that the money will not be going into salaries.
"I'd like to see some money go to academics, be it the library or other," Pearson said. "I know we have vast needs. It would be a very nice gesture."