Friday, November 16, 2018

Michigan football's trip to France this offseason cost $1.007 million

Michigan football's trip to France this offseason cost $1.007 million

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The Michigan football team visits Normandy, the beaches on the coast of northern France where the U.S. and its allies invaded during World War II.
Nick Baumgardner, Detroit Free Press

Michigan football’s overseas trip to France this spring came with a donor-funded price tag of more than $1 million. 

Per information obtained by the Free Press via a Freedom of Information Act request, the seven-day trip to France — which included visits to Paris, Normandy and Versailles — came with a $979,641 price in “trip expenses” and a $27,627 cost in “security service cost.” 

More: Michigan football’s Cesar Ruiz: The offensive line will be a strength

The total bill: $1,007,628. The final number was a bit higher than the estimated $800,000, which is roughly what the team’s trip to Italy cost a year ago. 

Michigan did not provide a more detailed outline of the overall allocation of expenses for the trip. 

Like Michigan’s trip to Italy in 2017, the trip to France was funded by donors. Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh revealed those individuals to be Bobby Kotick, a Michigan graduate who runs Activision Blizzard — the company responsible for the popular video game “Call of Duty.” Don Graham, also a Michigan grad and founder of the Graham Group, also donated to this year’s trip. 

The Free Press reported earlier this month that Graham and his family foundation have donated more than $60 million to Michigan. Meantime, the Free Press also reported that Michigan has invested $102 million in four private equity funds run by Graham’s son, Steven. 

While no final plans have been announced at this time, Harbaugh has said he hopes to take his team to South Africa next year. 

On Saturday, FS1 (3 p.m.) will air a 30-minute episode documenting the team’s trip to France. The production, titled “Maize & Bleu: Michigan Football in France,” was produced by the Montag Group. 

This is the same production company that put together Michigan’s year-long Amazon documentary that detailed the program’s 2017 season. 

Contact Nick Baumgardner: nbaumgardn@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @NickBaumgardner. Download our Wolverines Xtra app for free on Apple and Android devices!

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