Competing on the court and field in major college athletics is about being competitive in the resources supporting the football and men’s basketball teams.
University of Arkansas Budget Joins 9-Figure Club
After posting total revenues topping $100 million for the past two fiscal years, the Razorbacks have planned on that being the status quo from this point forward.
Tom Murphy of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette says that Arkansas boosted its athletic budget 8.4 percent for this fiscal year. The exact figure is $105,736,950, but $2.335 million will be transferred to the university’s general fund.
Where will the money come from?
About 1/3 of the projected revenue will come from the NCAA and SEC. Most of that will be via Arkansas’ share of SEC television revenues. A little less than another third will come from football ticket sales. The football program will kick in another $300,000 by playing a non-conference game at Texas Christian University in the fall as well.
Other revenue sources include men’s basketball ticket sales, concessions, merchandise, licensing royalties, corporate sponsorships and individual donations.
Where will the money go?
As the football and men’s basketball programs are the biggest sources of revenue, so are they the biggest expenses for the Arkansas athletic department.
Nearly a quarter of the budget has been allocated to the football program, and the men’s basketball program will see a 10 percent rise in its cut.
Salaries for coaches and executives, facilities maintenance and equipment costs will eat up much of the rest of the budget. As one would assume, the cost of operating the rest of Arkansas’ official sports is included.
Other expenses include renovations of the north end zone and athletic department offices. The football team will be getting a new locker room, and debt servicing will eat up almost $10 million.
What does this mean for Arkansas long-term?
Having a nine-figure athletic department budget is par for the course at an SEC school. Fans should consider it the new normal at Arkansas. On-court and on-field success will have something to say about how fast the revenue grows to approach $150 million, but if SEC television revenue continues to grow, that will eventually put Arkansas at that point.
When that time comes, expect the budget to match the revenue. Competing with the rest of the SEC requires every dollar the Razorbacks can gather.