UNLV could be trading plane rides for bus rides in 2020 and beyond.
Citing budget concerns surrounding the coronavirus, Rebels athletic director Desiree Reed-Francois noted that slashing the program’s travel expenses are among the items being looked at as the school deals with the financial fallout related to COVID-19.
“We’ve been in continuous conversation with the Mountain West Conference,” Reed-Francois told the Las Vegas Sun. “We’re going to look at travel expenses, we’re going to look at the number of away games. We may be looking at bussing to places we may have flown before.”
The Sun notes that UNLV spent some $2.7 million on travel across all sports. Football made up nearly a fifth of that amount to the dune of $587,000.
As currently constructed, the Rebels will have seven home games in 2020. While it would be a stretch to bus to an away game like the ones at Iowa State or certainly Hawaii, they do have somewhat manageable (if long) visits to MWC venues at San Diego State, San Jose State and Fresno State that they could travel to via the highway.
Needless to say, this would be quite the headache for a new coaching staff under Marcus Arroyo. In addition to the travel issues, there are also outstanding concerns over the opening of Allegiant Stadium and its usage for the school as well.
Cutting back on air travel is bound to be something other programs start exploring either way — especially at the Group of Five level. It seems the Rebels will just be the first of many to drill down into some of the details on the balance sheet over the coming weeks and months.