South Africa trip comes with $1.2 million price tag for Michigan
Taking a trip overseas is never a cheap adventure. The price tag rises quite a bit when you take an entire college football team with you.
The Detroit Free Press recently obtained records that detailed the cost of Michigan’s South Africa trip this past year, the third time the program has traveled abroad. This year’s invoice came in at $1.19 million.
Michigan brought 98 student-athletes, two student managers, 34 coaches/staffers and two donors on the trip, according to records obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request. Fourteen spouses and children of coaches/staffers also came on the trip, but their travel costs were not paid by the school or with donor money.
The breakdown of expenses was $1,154,830 paid to the travel agency organizing the trip and $38,241 listed as “other trip costs.”
Donors have been the primary contributors to support Michigan’s trips to different countries over the last three springs. This year’s visit to South Africa, however, was the most expensive.
Michigan has also taken trips to France ($1.007 million) and Italy ($800,000). A trip to IMG Academy in 2016 cost $350,000.
Traveling abroad will continue to be an aspect of Michigan’s football program moving forward. Harbaugh has already thrown out some ideas for future adventures.
“(Maybe) Washington D.C. I’d like to go to the Supreme Court, the halls of Congress, the Smithsonian,” Harbaugh said. “Or Gettysburg. Or we could go to San Diego, do some SEAL team training and (eventually) go on to Pearl Harbor.”
Those trips might be a little easier on the wallet.