NIU Athletics will be paid hefty sums for future football games against two top programs.
NIU Athletics will collect $1.4 million each for football games against Kentucky (Sept 24, 2022) and Notre Dame (Sept. 7, 2024), according to documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.
According to NIU’s contract with Notre Dame, if either school cancels the game more than two years in advance, it must pay the other school $250,000. The sum becomes $500,000 if either school cancels one to two years before the scheduled date.
If notice of cancellation is given less than a year before the scheduled date of the game, that school owes the other the full $1.4 million.
NIU has the option to purchase 5,000 tickets to the game at Notre Dame Stadium, and NIU has until six months before game day to decide how many tickets it wants. Unsold tickets purchased will be returned to Notre Dame.
For the Kentucky game, NIU will receive 700 free tickets and will be allotted 2,200 tickets for sale to fans and the band. NIU also will receive 60 sideline passes.
NIU will pay Eastern Illinois University $335,000 to host the Panthers on Sept. 3, 2022. Should either NIU or EIU cancel, the cancelling school will pay $335,000 to the other. NIU will owe the University of Maine $375,000 for coming to DeKalb for a game Sept. 25, 2021. NIU will provide Maine with 300 free tickets.
NIU athletics announced news of additional nonconference opponents, which included the Notre Dame and Kentucky games, Thursday.
• Sports editor Eddie Carifio contributed to this story.