In a not-so-recent report, USA Today released a database built on certain financial aspects of NCAA Division I athletic departments from 2006-11. The accompanying stories were centered on “subsidies,” defined in this case as the amount of money schools needed from outside sources (anything other than their own direct revenues, basically) to balance budgets.
But something else caught my eye: Ticket revenue and lack there of.
Quick disclaimer: There could be more to these numbers than what has been reported. But this is what has been reported.
New Jersey Tech brought in a high - yes, a high - of $11,419 in that six-year span. The low: $2,989. And that is for all sports. All. Sports.
Summit League member IUPUI – a school with a gym that seats less than 2,000 – reported highs of $39,880 and lows of $21,265. That’s a tough number when it’s the annual household income for a department that has expenses in the $4M-6M range.
Of course, New Jersey Tech and IUPUI don’t have football. But Eastern Illinois does. And it reported annual ticket revenues in the $100,290-160,345 range.
This is the part of the blog where you shake your head and go, ‘Wow.’ It would also be acceptable to add something along the lines of, ‘Maybe the Dakota schools do have some better-than-the bottom potential.’
And this is the part of the blog where I spew out numbers that you might find interesting:
* North Dakota tops the Dakota schools in the $3.3M-3.8M range thanks in large part to hockey.
* North Dakota State ranged from $949K-2.0M. Football season ticket sales are huge.
* SDSU ranged from $565K-$940K and likely will have topped $1M for the first time in 2012, although those numbers aren’t final yet.
* South Dakota had a small gap from a low of $207,510 to a high of $241,242. That’s well behind the Jacks, but better than most in the Summit. IUPUI ($39K), Western Illinois ($165K), Oakland ($131K), IPFW ($160K) and UMKC ($173K) all failed to hit $175K at any time during the six-year span.
* As for the Missouri Valley, the league in which NDSU, SDSU and USD play football, Northern Iowa, Southern Illinois and Missouri State have made a habit of bringing in $1.3M-1.7M over the last several years.
What does it all mean? That some Division I schools are hardly Division I in terms of fan interest, that the Dakotas are doing OK with more room to grow and that ticket revenues really add up.
Terry Vandrovec also posts regular updates on his Twitter page.