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With nearly $1M payday, Albany State A.D. calls trip to Chicago tremendous opportunity

Albany State A.D. Richard Williams

Albany State A.D. Richard Williams

CHICAGO — Albany State athletic director Richard Williams called today’s 16th annual Chicago Football Classic one of the greatest opportunities presented to the Rams’ athletic program.

The game between the Rams and Kentucky State will be played on the Chicago Bears’ Soldier Field, marking ASU’s second straight trip to play in an NFL venue.

The trip also worked out for ASU financially. Williams, in an exclusive interview with The Herald on Thursday night, wouldn’t divulge the exact amount the school made from the game, but he said the contract was substantial.

“Let’s put it this way, it’s more than a home game,” Williams said. “It was about a $750,000 to $1 million contract (we signed to come play in this game) when you add in the flying, charter plane, busing and food. The band took five buses, and the cheerleaders took another. All of that was included in the contract.”

Larry Huggins, the founder of the Chicago Football Classic, invited ASU and Kentucky State to the game during a three-way conference call with Williams and KSU athletic director Denisha Hendricks this past offseason.

“(Huggins) said he had a wonderful opportunity for us to play in Chicago, and without a doubt we said OK,” Williams said.

This afternoon’s football game highlights more than a dozen events associated with the Chicago Football Classic, including a comedy show, parties and a golf outing. ASU’s band will compete in the HBCU Battle of the Bands, which will take place immediately after the game.

“It’s really not just a football game, it’s a football event,” Williams said.

Many fans, alumni and students made the trip and filled up four entire floors at a downtown hotel for the weekend, Williams said.

“Ram Nation is here,” Williams said. “It’s great for the students who made the trip. We had students who took a plane for the first time and came to Chicago for the first time. Some of the players are playing in an NFL stadium for the first time. It’s a feather in our hat for ASU.”

On Thursday, ASU offensive coordinator Uyl Joyner, receivers coach Anthony Kelly and a number of players visited patients at the University of Chicago Hospital, and head coach Mike White took part in a luncheon. Other than that, White said the team is trying to stay focused on the game.

“We are just going to try to stick to our regular schedule the best we can,” White said.

Comments

Sister_Ruby 1 year, 11 months ago

Do they really think there will be enough gate receipts to pay out that kind of money??

I wonder if it's just more Obama Stimulus money that came out of my big red purse??

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spookj6 1 year, 11 months ago

It amaze me with these type of comments. VSU played in Dallas Cowboy stadium and received a similiar deal, but no comment or article was written on it. This is ran by the same type of organizations so they don't need "Obama's stimulus money", get the facts straight.

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Sister_Ruby 1 year, 11 months ago

Ouch, your mis-use of english language amaze me.

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LoneCycler 1 year, 11 months ago

The HBCU Chicago Football Classic is a great opportunity for the ASU sports program and the students. The sports program gets a financial shot in the arm and the students, some of whom have never been outside the southeast, get to see Chicago. The Chicago Football Classic historically brings in a 40,000+ attendance and net revenues of $5 – $6 million, more than enough to pay both ASU and KSU contracts and expenses. My sympathy goes out to the band and cheerleaders who, unlike the players, had to ride a bus to Chicago and will take a bus back. I suppose that will be a learning experience for them too.

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