State athletics budgets to grow by $7.2 million

Iowa's budget up $4.5m from 2013; ISU up $14 million over two years

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IOWA CITY — The cost of doing athletics business at Iowa's three public universities continues to soar.

Athletics department budgets at Iowa, Iowa State and Northern Iowa will increase by more than $7.2 million for the 2014 fiscal year, according to documents released Thursday by the state Board of Regents.

Iowa's athletics budget will boost by $4.5 million to nearly $84.3 million, continuing the department's four-year trend of annual increases between $4 million and $6 million. Northern Iowa's budget leaps by more than $700,000 to $12.92 million.

Iowa State's budget rises $3.4 million to $60.6 million, but the department's overall ledger has surged by nearly $14 million over the last two years. ISU will receive $22.35 million from the Big 12 this fiscal year, nearly $6.3 million more than in 2012. Also, ISU athletics' fundraising also has grown by $4.5 million the last two years.

Iowa and Iowa State are self-supporting athletics departments and receive no general university support.

Iowa expects its football income to drop by $500,000. Last year the school played seven home games and drew a $1 million guarantee to face Northern Illinois at Soldier Field. This year, the Hawkeyes have a true road game at Iowa State and will not pick up a guarantee.

Iowa forecasts a $350,000 increase in basketball ticket sales to $3.21 million. Last year football, basketball and wrestling eclipsed ticket estimates by a combined $950,000.The school anticipates a significant jump in foundation support, from $8.84 million to $12.9 million this year, and budgets nearly $25.5 million from the Big Ten, up from $25.1 million last year. The department estimates modest hikes in sport-specific expenses, but the debt service for facilities grows from $14.6 million to $16.38 million.

ISU calculates football ticket revenue to jump by $1.85 million to $10.1 million, a 22.3 percent leap. Last year the Cyclones' football ticket revenue exceeded its budget by nearly $1.15 million. The department raised basketball ticket prices for the first time since 2007 and expects a climb of $775,000. Last year, the men's basketball program topped estimates by $575,000.

The bulk of UNI's revenues come from the university. While general funds for athletics operations ($2.914 million) and scholarships ($1.283 million) remain flat, income from student activity fees jump by $258,382 to $1.75 million.

UNI's football income expects to drop by $750,000 after not picking up a second guaranteed gate. Last year UNI earned $950,000 to play at Wisconsin and Iowa. The school does budget for a $173,000 increase in men's basketball revenue.


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