Early peek at the coffers

The numbers won’t be official until December when double checked and released by the South Dakota Board of Regents. But early indications are that the South Dakota State athletic department took a step forward in the 2011-12 school year.

Athletic director Justin Sell referenced the following areas during an interview about the renovations that are underway at Frost Arena. Again, all totals remain unofficial for now:

* The recent scholarship auction raised roughly $370,000. That’s up from $272,000 last year and in the $80,000 range the spring before that. The latter of those numbers included the Stan Marshall golf tournament, which should bring in another $25K-30K later this summer.

* Three years ago, the Jackrabbit Club brought in $332,000. It’s closer to $600,000 now.

* Ticket revenue should come in around $1.1 million, marking the first time SDSU has crossed into seven figures. Last year was closer to $980,000.

Plus, there’s room to grow in that Jackrabbit Club donations are required to get access to season tickets. And football season-tickets sales for 2012 are already at an all-time high, while 400 prime spots inside the basketball area are now open for season tickets due to the renovations.

To be sure, the Jacks have a long way to go in order to be funded the way they’d like to be. For example, Sell once said that he hoped to sell roughly 8,000 football season tickets before opening a new stadium. For all its gains, SDSU is only about a third of the way there.
However, the upward trend does seem to support industry claims that ticket sales and donations beget ticket sales and donations.

Terry Vandrovec also posts regular updates on his Twitter page.