We haven’t heard Jim McVay’s name mentioned when NFL General Manager positions open up, but that hasn’t stopped McVay, who runs the Outback Bowl, from using alleged NFL interest to leverage a salary exceeding $1 million.
Will Hobson of the Washington Post reports that McVay makes $1.045 million to run the Outback Bowl, which makes $11.9 million in annual revenue. For comparison’s sake, the chief executive of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association makes less than half of that ($412,000), while the Rose Bowl and Tournament of Roses Parade generate more than eight times as much as the Outback Bowl in revenue ($96.7 million).
So why would the Outback Bowl pay McVay so much? According to former Outback Bowl board chair Steve Schember, it’s because McVay has repeatedly told the board that NFL teams are interested in him, and they need to pay up to keep him.
“At least every other year . . . he’ll come to a board meeting and say an NFL team has contacted me, and they’ve got a job in their front office, and they want to know if I’m interested . . . part of the reason he is so well-compensated is so he isn’t tempted to leave,” Schember said.
Although McVay has a nephew, Rams coach Sean McVay, who’s one of the hottest names in the NFL, Jim McVay’s name has never been a hot one in reports about NFL front office hires. And the Washington Post could find no one to name an NFL team that wanted to hire Jim McVay.
But the mere perception from the Outback Bowl’s board that McVay has other options has been enough to secure him a seven-figure annual salary. People are getting rich off college bowl games. Just not the players, many of whom may see McVay’s salary and wonder why they should risk injury to make someone else rich.