University of Maine athletic director Karlton Creech made “guarantee” games a priority for his football team, and it is paying off.

The Black Bears will be paid $400,000 for a season-opening game at Boston College on Sept. 5 and will receive another $325,000 from a visit to Tulane two weeks later, according to contracts obtained by the Portland Press Herald on Tuesday.

Last season, Maine was paid $350,000 for a trip to Boston College, but had no other such guarantee games, in which larger schools write big checks to smaller schools in order to secure a home game and what they hope is a likely victory. The Eagles defeated the Black Bears 40-10 a year ago.

At the time, Creech had no such future big paydays lined up for his football team. Since then, Maine has scheduled the two games this fall, and games at Connecticut and Toledo next year. In addition, the university recently announced games at Massachusetts in 2017 and 2019. Creech has said he would like to play two games at Football Bowl Subdivision opponents each fall. Maine, an Football Championship Subdivision school, has typically played only three non-conference games in recent years.

The money is important for athletic budgets at schools like Maine. No FCS athletic department made money in 2013, according to the NCAA revenue report. The median loss for an FCS football program was $1.97 million in 2013, and only one made money. Guarantee games constitute 12 percent of the budget at a typical FCS school.

“We budget for guarantee money each year and make it a priority to go out and schedule those games,” Creech told the Press Herald last year. “I’m making sure I’m as informed as I can be about the national landscape of college football. I’d like to get games scheduled years in advance. That’s great security.”

Mark Emmert can be contacted at 791-6424 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: MarkEmmertPPH

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