I think you guys are vehemently agreeing. The reason there are so many bowls is because they make money somehow for the city. Hey, what's the minimum payout for a bowl game? $100k? So if you can get 2000 fans to show up and buy tickets at $50/pop you're covered, hopefully, you're really making another couple hundred thousand dollars on hotels, restaurants, attractions, easy peasey. Bowls like the Orange Bowl have the school cover 17000 tickets, hmmm, at $100 a pop/ that's nearly $2M so maybe that big payout isn't really all that big after all, ie, you the fanbase are paying for it, what do they care? So no, these are not for the benefit of the teams, they're for the benefit of the local chamber of commerce, they are a kind of scam. if a team cannot at least break even they shouldn't be made to go. It's a racket.
Not sure I would use the words scam and racket. There's definitely a lot of hype and status to some of them. Status has it's rewards but must be weighed against the costs, so it's a business decision.
Yeah, we lost money in the Stanford/VT orange bowl because of those minimums. I have always wondered why conferences don't simply arrange for their own bowl games in their own stadiums. It looks like maybe the Boca Raton bowl will be like that, with FAU hosting it at their stadium. ACC #8 AND #9 in Raleigh and Charlottesville for bowl games against the MAC or CUSA would work as well as lots of the lower level games.