Search Results for revenue
Guest author: Mit Winter
A groundbreaking bill known as the Student Athlete Bill of Rights is close to becoming law in California. The California Senate and Assembly both recently passed the bill and it currently awaits Governor Jerry Brown’s signature. Brown has not publicly given any indication as to whether he intends to sign it into law.
If Brown does sign the bill, beginning with the 2013-14 school year student athletes at California universities that receive at least $10 million annually from the sale of athletics-based media rights will be entitled to a number of benefits. The most prominent are as follows:
1) If a student athlete’s athletic scholarship is not renewed due to an incapacitating injury or illness resulting from participation in an intercollegiate sport, the university must provide the student athlete with an equivalent scholarship that, when combined with the athletic scholarship, provides for up to five academic years or until the student athlete graduates, whichever comes first.
2) Scholarship student athletes who are members of teams with a graduation success rate of less than 60%, and have exhausted their athletic eligibility before graduating, must be provided with an equivalent scholarship for up to one year or until the student athlete graduates, whichever is shorter.
One thing to note up front before diving into an analysis of these two provisions (which I call the injury scholarship continuation and graduation scholarship continuation rules): because the law will only apply to California universities receiving at least $10 million annually from the sale of athletics-based media rights, it will initially only affect USC, UCLA, Stanford, and Cal. San Diego State may become a member of the $10 million club soon, but that will depend on how well Mike Aresco can sell the new version of Big East football. No other California universities are currently likely to be affected by the law, but, as we have seen with the realignment frenzy over the past few years, anything can happen.
Now that we know which schools will be affected by the injury scholarship continuation and graduation scholarship continuation rules let’s take a closer look at them. At first glance, each of the rules makes sense. Student-athletes at USC, UCLA, Stanford, and Cal play a big part in those schools receiving large media rights checks. So, it seems fair that student-athletes should continue to receive scholarships after they are injured participating in a sport or if they have not yet graduated when their athletic eligibility is exhausted.
But, when the reach of each rule is considered, much of the revenue generation argument disappears. Why? Because the law does not apply only to student-athletes participating in revenue generating sports: generally football and men’s basketball, with some limited exceptions.
The scholarship continuation rule applies to any student-athlete who received an athletic scholarship. Using Stanford as an example, this means that scholarship athletes such as men’s and women’s fencers, men’s and women’s gymnasts, men’s wrestlers, and women’s rowers will maintain their athletic scholarships if they are injured while participating in their sport and can no longer compete. Not that there is anything wrong with this. But, if the argument is that scholarship student-athletes should continue to receive scholarships after an incapacitating injury because of all the money they generated for their school while competing, the law shouldn’t reach this far. Fencers, gymnasts, wrestlers, and rowers are not producing revenue for Stanford.
If all of Stanford’s scholarship student athletes are entitled to a scholarship continuation after an injury, why shouldn’t a scholarship football or basketball player at Fresno State be entitled to that benefit as well? Those student athletes are generating some revenue for Fresno State. Again, there is nothing wrong with providing all scholarship student athletes with scholarship continuations after injuries. But those who are generating revenue, regardless of school, should have the same rights to a scholarship continuation after an injury.
While Stanford will be affected by the injury continuation rule, it won’t have to worry about the graduation continuation rule. This part of the law only applies to teams that have a graduation success rate below 60%. The most recent available Graduation Success Rate (GSR) data (2010-11 academic year) shows that all of Stanford’s teams had GSRs well above 60%.
The same cannot be said for Cal, UCLA, and USC. Cal’s men’s basketball team had a GSR of 33% while its football team had a GSR of 54%. USC’s men’s basketball team had a GSR of 38%. UCLA’s football team had a GSR of 59%. So, if they have not already graduated, scholarship members of these teams will be entitled to a continuation of their scholarships for up to one year after their athletic eligibility has expired. Again, the rule makes sense. Especially when the student athletes receiving the scholarships are members of revenue generating teams.
What doesn’t make sense is the limitation of the rule to members of teams that have a GSR below 60%. The intent of the limit appears to be to increase graduation levels for football and men’s basketball, as those two sports generally have lower graduation rates than other sports at most schools. This is a worthy goal. But, why should a member of the USC football team not be entitled to a continuation of his scholarship after his athletic eligibility expires when a basketball player is?
The football player likely brings more value to USC than a basketball player. But, despite the football player’s role in generating a substantial amount of revenue for USC, the football player is not entitled to a scholarship continuation because the program has done a better job of graduating players than the basketball program. This doesn’t seem fair. If the goal is to reward members of these teams for their part in generating revenue, then the continuation rule should cover those teams generating a certain amount of revenue, regardless of GSR rates.
To link the injury scholarship and graduation scholarship continuation rules more closely to revenue generation, they could be changed to be team specific as opposed to school specific. One potential fix would apply the two rules to any team at a California school that generates revenue of at least $2 million. The actual number isn’t important for this entry. And there would have to be some discussion about how to calculate how much revenue a specific team generates. But, amending the bill in this way would reward all of the California student athletes who are generating revenue for their schools.
 Question: What types of injuries do fencers get? Triceps strains from all of the thrusting? Groin pulls from the quick lunges at your opponent?
Guest author: Mit Winter
Division I student-athletes are currently only allowed to receive financial aid based on athletics ability up to the value of their tuition and fees, room and board, and required course-related books. In October of 2011, the NCAA Board of Directors approved a proposal to allow Division I members to give student-athletes a stipend of up to $2000 on top of the items listed above. The idea is that the money will help cover the difference between the value of a full athletic scholarship and the actual cost of attending college. As anyone who has attended college knows, students have everyday expenses that go beyond their tuition and fees, room and board, and books. Things like laundry, transportation, toothpaste, and clothes (and cheap beer – my preference in college was Natty Light). An athletics scholarship is not allowed to cover these expenses.
But, the stipend proposal was tabled in January after more than 160 schools requested an override. These schools argued that the proposal was too expensive for them, that it would give the wealthier schools another advantage in recruiting, and that it equals “pay for play.” Despite this opposition, the Board of Directors recently reiterated its support for the stipend proposal.
The activity summarized above brings up two areas of discussion. 1) The proposal itself, and 2) the opposition to the proposal.
First, let’s address the proposal. While it moves things in the right direction, it doesn’t go far enough. Here’s why: non-student-athletes can receive merit based scholarships that cover their full cost of attendance. As one example, the Charles Scholarship at Davidson College includes the recipients’ room and board, tuition and fees, books, a travel allowance that covers three round trip flights to Chicago (it’s a scholarship specifically for students from Chicago), a personal expense allowance, and special study opportunity funds. Why shouldn’t student-athletes be able to receive scholarships that cover all of these expenses?
One of the usual arguments is that providing student-athletes with athletics-based money for personal expenses equals “pay for play.” How can that argument be reconciled with the fact that schools are already providing non-athletes with merit-based money for personal and travel expenses? It can’t be. When a trombone player receives a full cost of attendance scholarship no one calls that pay for play. No one complains that Davidson is paying the Charles Scholarship recipients to study.
Another argument that has been made against athletics-based cost of attendance scholarships is that schools will artificially inflate the cost of attendance figures for athletes. But, federal regulations and NCAA bylaws already prevent this from happening. Federal regulations only allow certain categories of expenses to be included in the cost of attendance calculation. And NCAA bylaws mandate that the cost of attendance for student-athletes must be calculated in accordance with the cost of attendance policies and procedures for general students.
Those who argue against athletics-based cost of attendance scholarships also overlook their potential to address a big issue in college sports: third party influence. It is well-known that agents, runners, and other third parties looking to gain influence with student-athletes often offer them money or other gifts. Take the recent case ofKansasState’s Jamar Samuels. Samuels was suspended the day that K-State played Syracuse in this year’s NCAA men’s basketball tournament. His crime was accepting $200 from his former AAU coach. Samuels allegedly needed the money for food. The suspension forced Samuels to miss the last game of his college career. Samuels likely would not have needed the money if he had received a full cost of attendance scholarship.
There are probably hundreds, if not thousands, of transactions like this occurring every year between third-parties and student-athletes. Taking money from third parties is very tempting to those student-athletes whose families do not have the means to provide them with money for personal expenses. Full cost of attendance scholarships won’t end third-party influence, but they will help.
Now, let’s go back to the stipend proposal. The schools opposed to the proposal are generally the Division I members outside of the BCS conferences. These schools mainly argue that they cannot afford to pay the stipends and, as a result, the schools with wealthier athletic departments will have yet another recruiting advantage. While the argument does have some merit, the non-BCS schools are making this a bigger issue than it is.
The reason: non-BCS schools are not currently winning recruiting battles with BCS schools. Even the worst BCS schools usually win in head to head recruiting battles with non-BCS schools. The BCS schools already have many other recruiting advantages that are more significant than any advantage that would be gained by offering a $2,000 stipend. Things like history and tradition, media exposure, fan support, facilities, and schedules filled with games against the traditional college basketball and football powers.
A good way to look at this is to assume that the non-BCS schools are the only schools allowed to offer the stipend. How many student-athletes currently attending a BCS school would have gone to a non-BCS school instead? Probably not many. Would Matt Barkley have gone to Fresno State instead of USC? No. WouldOklahoma’s third string running back have gone to UTEP? Not likely. Would Kansas’ back-up point guard, Naadir Tharpe, have gone to Boston University(near his hometown)? Negative.
Another thing to keep in mind in this debate is that the stipend proposal is not a novel idea. NCAA members were allowed to give student-athletes $15 a month for personal expenses until the early 1970’s. The stipend was eliminated in an attempt to trim the costs of running an athletic department. But, the enormous media rights contracts that Division I conferences are signing and will sign (I’m looking at you football playoff), will bring in more athletics-based revenue to Division I schools than at any time in the past. With this new money rolling in, schools should have the option of sharing some of that money with the student-athletes who play a large part in generating it. The stipend proposal is a good start. Once the Division I members give the proposal a try they will hopefully continue on to the logical end place: the ability to award athletic-based cost of attendance scholarships.
Guest author: Tyler Jamieson (BusinessofCollegeSports.com Intern)
You’re the University of California, Riverside. You made the leap to Division 1 just over a decade ago. You’ve got a pretty cool mascot named “Scotty the Bear”. You’ve tasted varying levels of success in men’s golf and baseball, and women’s basketball and soccer. You had a pretty decent football team until 1975 when the program was discontinued due to low attendance and Title IX compliance. You’re 60 miles away from the glitz and glam of L.A. and your basketball and volleyball teams play in the luxurious… Student Recreation Center. In an age of iPads and high speed internet you’re rockin’ a Commodore 64. So if you’re A.D. Brian Wickstrom how do you go about getting funding for a long over-due multi-purpose arena? Apparently you go to China.
Allan Steele at The Press-Enterprise has an interesting look at how Wickstom had to “think outside the box” when coming up with a way to get funding for a badly needed arena. Wickstrom knew there was no way in today’s financial climate he was going to get funding for an arena through more traditional ways, so at the advice from an architect he looked into the controversial federal program EB-5. EB-5 is an employment based immigration program that allows potential would be immigrants the opportunity to obtain a green card for investing $500K or $1 million in a U.S. enterprise that creates or funds at least 10 jobs.
The goal of the program is to find new ways to pump money into businesses and areas that aren’t able to get loans, funding, etc. with investors being rewarded with a green card. However, opponents of the fund say the foreign money coming in isn’t providing enough of an impact to call the fund useful and that in effect the U.S. is just selling what should be far more valuable green cards.
It sounds like Wickstrom is ready to test the merits of the program as his visit to China and several presentations at a conference designed to introduce American’s to potential investors there have him staring down the barrel of a potential $20-$30 million in committed funds. Even if UC Riverside can get potentially $20-$30 million in EB-5 funds Wickstrom says there are still several hurdles to getting a new arena built, however they could use the money to get the arena started and get people excited about donating.
As an alumni or fan of a University what are your thoughts on schools securing foreign money for University projects? Is this a case where Wickstrom came up with a potentially clever way to get funding for a smaller school that is having trouble funding the cost of a new arena, or would larger schools with bigger endowment programs and larger revenue streams consider using this method as well in order to keep costs down for donors?
Yesterday, the NCAA levied what many consider to be unprecedented penalties upon Penn State. Including within the NCAA’s sanctions, was the imposing of a $60 million fine to be paid by Penn State over the next five years. This $60 million figure is clearly large, leading some to believe that while the NCAA did not impose the “death penalty” upon the football program, it nonetheless intended to decimate it.
How though, will the $60 million fine actually impact the operations of Penn State’s football program and the Penn State athletics department? In the grand scheme of Division I athletics, Penn State has posted impressive revenues in recent years. For 2010-11, the most recent year for which Department of Education data is available, Penn State’s athletics department reported total revenues of $116,118,026.00. The athletics department also reported expenses of $84,498,339.00. While many athletics directors will note that the numbers reported to the Department of Education are not inclusive of every cost incurred by an athletics department, these figures at least give some idea as to the type of budget Penn State’s athletics department is operating under.
That being said, it is arguable that at least when considering the Department of Education data, having to shell out on average $12 million per year over the next five years to comply with the NCAA’s sanctions is not going to destroy Penn State athletics. However, the story is not that simple. One has to take into consideration the multitude of budgetary factors Penn State’s athletics department is likely now facing as a result of the NCAA sanctions. Along with losing sponsors like State Farm and facing a possible credit downgrade by Moody’s, Penn State athletics likely now has to rework its budget to determine where the $60 million is going to come from.
Frank Hardymon is the Associate Athletic Director – CFO at Georgia Tech. While he can only explain the budget planning process engaged in at Georgia Tech, he notes, “I would guess our methods of planning and budgeting are similar to those utilized by other institutions.” This planning begins the spring prior to the July 1 start of the fiscal year, when the upcoming year’s budget is completed. “In our case, nearly every dollar which we project receiving is accounted for in the budget,” Hardymon noted.
Likely, a similar circumstance exists at Penn State. While the Department of Education arguably demonstrates that the athletics department is operating with a surplus, many athletics directors are quick to note that is not the case, as not every expense an athletics department incurs is reported to the Department of Education. As such, Penn State is likely looking towards contingency provisions in its budget to gather the money by which to pay the $60 million fine. “We build in as much contingency as we can every year; some years we may have close to $500,000.00 in contingency factors into the budget, other years that amount is quite a bit less,” Hardymon said.
It is unknown whether Penn State’s athletics department had any contingencies built into its budget. If so, it is highly unlikely that the contingency amount would allow for the payment of a $60 million fine. As such, Penn State will likely have to scrape from other areas of its budget to pay the imposed fine. Areas in which Penn State could cut from its budget would likely be from recruiting expenses, travel costs and future coaching salaries. However, the most likely area in which Penn State could draw from is facility improvements. While the department will have to continue paying under the loan terms for already existing improvements, it is unlikely that the athletics department will undertake any new building during the time period in which the fine is being paid. Hardymon noted, “We also maintain a detailed five-year income projection which we update frequently. That analysis factors in projected facility improvements needed during those five years.”
Overall, the financial sanction imposed upon Penn State by the NCAA is indeed a blow to the athletics department. However, given Penn State’s apparent athletics revenue along with proper budgeting moving forward during the next five years, it is likely that the athletics department will be able to continue to function financially.
Research by BusinessofCollegeSports.com Staff
Penn State is not subject to public records requests for financial data relating to its athletic department, which makes yesterday’s financial penalties hard to analyze. (For more on why Penn State isn’t subject to these disclosures read here.) However, taking a look at public schools in the Big Ten may shed some light on how important donations/contributions and football ticket sales are to the athletic department.
The first chart shows how football-related contributions (generally tied to tickets and suites) and football ticket sales impact an athletic department’s total revenue. Keep in mind, reporting practices vary with regards to how contributions are attributed, which is why we’ve included a second chart below to show total athletic department contributions, as some schools reported a large portion of contributions as non-sport specific.
For more on how contributions/donations play a role in Penn State’s future, check out this piece by BusinessofCollegeSports.com founder, Kristi Dosh, on ESPN.com.
Research by BusinessofCollegeSports.com Staff
A five-year snapshot of Penn State’s athletic department finances per filings with the Department of Education and IRS Form 990s.
It’s important to note that Department of Education filings do not always include all expenses. The 2010-2011 numbers include the information provided by Penn State regarding expenses not reported. Those notes are not available for previous years but the situation was likely similar in previous years.
Net Revenue: $53,228,446
Net Revenue: $31,619,687
*Note to Penn State’s report says: “As is referenced in the Caveat box in the Total Expenses section, Grand Total Expenses does not include $19,580,022 of debt service expense and $14,980,216 spent during the year on capital expenditures. Subsequent to addressing our debt service obligation, any remaining excess revenue is/will be used in funding current/future capital projects.”
Net Revenue: $50,427,645
Net Revenue: $26,354,087
Big Ten distribution: $20,039,504
Net Revenue: $42,635,760
Net Revenue: $19,478,286
Big Ten distribution: $19,172,047
Net Revenue: $37,228,333
Net Revenue: $12,294,879
Big Ten distribution: $18,785,520
Net Revenue: $29,404,224
Net Revenue: $4,353,456
Big Ten distribution: $14,010,190
The story of the University of Oregon’s new football operations center has been interesting from the get-go. With the $68 million, 130,000 square foot operations center set to open for the 2013 season, now is as a good time as ever to reflect on how the project came to life, and what it will include once done.
The most unique part of this building project isn’t the final product itself, but the way in which it is being constructed. Back in 2010, Oregon decided to lease the land surrounding Autzen Stadium to alumnus and Nike co-founder Phil Knight. This essentially gave a private company the ability to build on public land. At the end of the project, Knight will send the center back to Oregon as a gift. It’s not the first time Knight has done this on the University of Oregon campus, but it’s not something routinely seen in other athletic departments. The closest example is Louisiana State University where the Tiger Athletic Foundation constructs all projects and then gifts them to the athletic department once all debt is paid.
The arrangement with Knight brings up two issues. First, it must be noted that traditionally the impending construction of most buildings on a public university is opened up to a public bidding process, in which the most qualified company that can deliver the project at the cheapest price is chosen to construct the project. Thus, the fact that Oregon is essentially circumventing this process and going through private means is a departure from the norm.
Next, this brings up the issue of oversight. This kind of set-up allows Knight to control the design of the expansion and avoid public oversight. This has been a sticking point for many on the outside looking in who feel the project lacks transparency.
As for the actual look of the new operations center, less is known than with most athletic building projects. Because the project is being privately funded and built, the athletic department has less control over the outcome. Some features which have been discussed include a 25,000-square-foot weight room, climate-controlled lockers with iPod docks, and a cafeteria that will be open to all University students.
All of this looks great, especially with Knight footing the bill. However, although Knight is handling construction, the building does not come without costs for Oregon. For example, after Knight built the $41 million Jacqua Academic Center for Student Athletes, the university was obligated to pay $2 million per year for operations expenses, some of it coming from the academic budget. Senior associate athletic director Craig Pintens explains that academic support reports to the Provost’s office, and therefore that department pays the programming costs. However, the athletic department pays 2/3rds of the operations and maintenance costs.
The new project will bring its own operating costs, which will become the responsibility of the athletic department much like any other new athletic facility. According to the Register-Guard, “In the contract signed two years ago, the university agreed to staff the [new football operations] center — for six years — with a facilities manager, museum curator, museum receptionist, food service administrator and a senior administrative assistant for football operations. The building’s maintenance is also on the university’s nickel.” However, Pintens tells us the athletic department will cover 100 percent of the building’s costs.
The new operations center will help alleviate strain on the Casanova Center, which currently houses operations for every sport, including football. Since the Casanova Center was built in 1991, Oregon has added three sports and over 100 employees to the building with no expansion of the building’s footprint.
It’s also worth noting Oregon’s athletic department has seen a vast change in its finances over the past decade. In 2004-2005, the athletic department’s NCAA disclosure showed a net loss of $131,198. However, in 2010-2011 the department showed net revenue of over $9.5 million. The athletic department relied on no direct institutional support from the university in 2010-2011, although it did take in student fees of $1.4 million. The athletic department says those student fees cover football and basketball tickets and that none of those funds will be used for the operation of the new building. The increased success and exposure of the Oregon athletics department has led to licensing revenue growing from $750,000 in 2004-2005 to $2.25 million in 2010-2011, with the majority of revenue being retained by the University.
Knowing all this, is there reason for concern over the finances of the new operations center? What is your opinion on this project at the University of Oregon? Have they bolstered their facilities to a level that is necessary for recruitment of new players, or have they gone overboard? Is Knight commanding too much control at Oregon? Leave your comments below.
Editor’s Note: The original article posted July 23, 2012 contained several inaccuracies and has been edited following conversations with the University of Oregon.
Guest author: Tyler Jamieson (BusinessofCollegeSports.com Intern)
When it comes to cash the SEC is king…
…but just barely. NCAA disclosures (and EADA reports for private schools) from the 2010-2011 school year (the most recent available) reveal that the SEC is top dog when it comes to revenue. In 2011, schools from the SEC and Big Ten conferences both posted revenues of over $1 billion. The SEC earned top billing with earnings of $1,080,219,133, with the Big Ten right behind at $1,078,727,312.
The SEC also led the nation with a staggering 5 schools posting revenues of over $100 million. Leading the way was Alabama ($124,498,616), followed by Florida ($123,514,257), LSU ($107,259,352), Tennessee ($104,368,992), and Auburn ($103,982,441). The Big Ten was second with 3 schools over $100 million: Ohio State ($131,815,821), Michigan ($122,739,052), and Penn State ($116,118,025). The Big 12 had two schools over $100 million: Texas, with the highest overall net revenue in the country ($150,295,926), and Oklahoma ($104,338,844).
What’s even more impressive about the SEC’s revenue numbers is how far they have climbed since 2004-2005. Since 2004-2005 the conference as a whole has almost doubled their revenue, skyrocketing from approximately $600 million to over $1 billion. Over that time the average SEC school’s revenue has jumped from approximately $55 million to a little over $91 million, which is a robust 71% increase.
Once again amongst the notables is Alabama who doubled their revenue from $62 million to $124 million, no doubt due to recent success on the football field with the hiring of Nick Saban and 2 National Championships in the past 3 years. Also among the big movers was Mississippi State who back in 2004-2005 had a very paltry (by SEC standards) revenue of $26 million. In 2010-2011 the Bulldogs took the SEC crown for highest percentage climb in revenue since 2004-2005 with a 131% increase up to $59 million, but that still leaves them at less than half of Alabama and Florida are earning.
With a $3 billion television deal set to kick off in 2012, the PAC-12 is in position for some serious growth. In 2010-2011, the conference had the 2 lowest net revenue earners for all automatic-qualifier conferences. Utah, still transitioning from its move from the Mountain West Conference, had a revenue of $38 million, and Washington State came in at just under $40 million. Those numbers will no doubt see hugely significant increases in the coming years with each school in the conference estimated to receive over $20 million a year from the new TV deal.
It has been quite a season for the University of Arizona baseball team. Winning the most games of any Wildcats baseball team for a single season since 1989, the Wildcats punched their ticket to Omaha, NE and the College World Series after beating St. John’s University in the NCAA Super Regional tournament.
While the Wildcats’ road back to Omaha is impressive, perhaps what is more interesting about the team’s season is the increase in revenue enjoyed by the the University of Arizona baseball program. While the team’s on-field success drove interest in the program, the increase in revenue was largely generated by the team’s move from its previous on-campus home of 44-years, Jerry Kindall Field at Frank Sancet Stadium, to the off-campus location of Hi Corbett Field.
Given the history that the Wildcats created while playing at Jerry Kindall Field, along the field’s convenient on-campus location, there was some initial resistance from Wildcats baseball fans regarding the move. However, University of Arizona Director of Athletics, Greg Byrne, knew that the move to the former Spring Training facility of the Cleveland Indians and Colorado Rockies would bring great things to the team and the Arizona athletics department.
“When we did this, our thought was that there was a community connection with Hi Corbett. It was a dramatic facility improvement for our team, as we have a great clubhouse, locker room and training facilities. We felt that if we could re-engage Tucson with our baseball program, it would have a tremendous impact for us this year and many years to come,” Byrne said.
Byrne’s intuition about the success that moving to Hi Corbett Field could bring the baseball program was correct. The athletics department invested $350,000.00 to update the field’s clubhouse and provide it with University of Arizona paint and banners. After those measures, Hi Corbett was open for business and fears that fans may not attend games at an off-campus location were quickly quashed.
For starters, ticket revenue for the baseball team this season was five-times that of what it was last year. In 2011, Arizona baseball brought in $69,000.00 worth of ticket revenue. This season, the baseball team brought in just shy of $350,000.00 in ticket revenue, which does not include revenue for tickets sold during the NCAA Regional tournament or NCAA Super Regional tournament. Arizona baseball games were a hit with fans this season, as the team has brought in an average home attendance of 2,460. Last season, the average attendance for games was just over 1,000. The popularity of watching the Arizona baseball team play at Hi Corbett Field is further demonstrated by the fact that during one weekend series against Arizona rival ASU, the baseball team was able to bring in ticket revenues of $98,500.00. The ticket revenue that Arizona baseball was able to generate during one weekend series was nearly $30,000.00 more than it generated all last season.
Along with obtaining revenue from ticket sales, Arizona’s athletic department also receives revenues from concession sales at the baseball games. One luxury the athletics department has found in its move to Hi Corbett, is the ability to sell beer at baseball games. This year, $360,000.00 worth of concessions, including beer, were sold at Arizona baseball games. Of that gross number, the Arizona athletics department received $160,000.00 from Hi Corbett’s concessionaire. Although beer sales accounted for a significant portion of the concession gross receipts, Byrne is quick to note that he does not believe beer sales are driving ticket sales. “The nice thing, is that for our NCAA Regional game, we had 5,400 people at the game and we didn’t sell beer. They came to support Arizona baseball; not for the amenity of beer,” said Byrne.
Arizona’s move to Hi Corbett has also presented the school’s athletic department with another way to generate revenue: Hosting NCAA postseason baseball games. For the first time in 20 years, the Wildcats hosted the NCAA Regional baseball tournament. Additionally, Arizona hosted its first-ever NCAA Super Regional baseball tournament. To host these tournaments, the athletics department placed bids with the NCAA. The starting bid for the NCAA Regional tournament was $35,000.00, while the bid for the NCAA Super Regional is $50,000.00. Byrne noted that the Arizona athletics department exceeded the bid amount for the NCAA Super Regional tournament. Although Arizona spent money to bring these tournaments to Tucson, it gets to keep ticket sales revenue exceeding the bid amount. Additionally, the athletics department gets to keep all concession revenues from the tournaments. On the first day of the NCAA Regional tournament, $24,000.00 worth of concessions were sold.
For the first time since 2004, the Arizona Wildcats baseball team took the field in Omaha to compete for the College World Series. While the team’s success is much to celebrate, the financial turn-around of the program that was sparked by the team’s play and move to Hi Corbett is another cause for celebration. Last year, the baseball team lost revenues of $816,000.00. This year, Byrne expects the team’s net loss in revenues to be closer to $650,000.00. In the next five years, Byrne expects the teams net losses to be under $500,000.00. Although these numbers still represent net losses, in the grand scheme of things, it is a major win for the University of Arizona baseball program.
Conference realignment is nothing new. In 2004 and 2005, 16 schools moved from one FBS conference to another. Earlier this week, I wrote a piece for ESPN detailing how those schools have fared financially (and even academically) since their respective moves. Those who know me know I love Excel spreadsheets, and I had quite a few that we didn’t include in the ESPN.com piece. Below you’ll find a chart for each public school who moved in 2004 and 2005 detailing the growth each school saw in major revenue categories from the year before they moved conferences to the year after. Check out my ESPN.com piece for details on expense growth and overall financial picture for each school.
|Comp and Benefits by Third Party||$55,000||$185,000||236%|
|Direct Institutional Support||$408,962||$353,531||-14%|
|Broadcast, TV, Radio, Internet||$1,907,452||$3,954,669||107%|
|Comp and Benefits by Third Party||$0||$0|
|Direct Institutional Support||$5,642,852||$14,708,672||161%|
|Broadcast, TV, Radio, Internet||$0||$0|
|Comp and Benefits by Third Party||$0||$0|
|Direct Institutional Support||$1,500,000||$2,152,967||44%|
|Broadcast, TV, Radio, Internet||$1,643,061||$1,180,000||-28%|
|Comp and Benefits by Third Party||$0||$95,550|
|Direct Institutional Support||$1,093,589||$1,329,909||22%|
|Broadcast, TV, Radio, Internet||$400,000||$507,577||27%|
|Comp and Benefits by Third Party||$0||$0|
|Direct Institutional Support||$1,474,967||$2,424,099||64%|
|Broadcast, TV, Radio, Internet||$65,000||$0||-100%|
|Comp and Benefits by Third Party||$0||$0|
|Direct Institutional Support||$2,430,614||$5,439,689||124%|
|Broadcast, TV, Radio, Internet||$652,990||$1,231,121||89%|
|Comp and Benefits by Third Party||$0||$109,307|
|Direct Institutional Support||$4,994,481||$6,424,788||29%|
|Broadcast, TV, Radio, Internet||$7,828||$337,744||4215%|
|Comp and Benefits by Third Party||$179,000||$381,000||113%|
|Direct Institutional Support||$2,153,302||$2,778,311||29%|
|Broadcast, TV, Radio, Internet||$128,042||$50,000||-61%|
|Comp and Benefits by Third Party||$0||$140,000|
|Direct Institutional Support||$2,270,523||$9,109,963||301%|
|Broadcast, TV, Radio, Internet||$74,000||$0||-100%|
New Mexico State
|Comp and Benefits by Third Party||$0||$0|
|Direct Institutional Support||$3,347,148||$9,078,575||171%|
|Broadcast, TV, Radio, Internet||$0||$0|
Keep in mind there are many reasons for fluctuations in revenue, including new stadiums, expansion of stadiums, and sometimes even changes in reporting methods. It’s important to talk to each school before drawing any conclusions about why a specific revenue category has increased or decreased.