B1G additions lead to richer Iowa coffers

Iowa's conference revenue projects to more than $30 million surge

Iowa Hawkeyes head coach Kirk Ferentz  talks with Iowa Athletics Director Gary Barta and Wisconsin Athletics Directory B
Iowa Hawkeyes head coach Kirk Ferentz talks with Iowa Athletics Director Gary Barta and Wisconsin Athletics Directory Barry Alvarez before their Big Ten Conference college football game Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 at Kinnick Stadium. (Brian Ray/The Gazette-KCRG)

IOWA CITY — The Big Ten’s addition of two new members is good financial news for the league’s athletics departments.

Iowa forecasts a boost of nearly $4.44 million in conference revenue to more than $30.7 million for fiscal year 2015, according to documents filed with the state’s Board of Regents. The jump coincides with the Big Ten’s additions of Rutgers and Maryland, which begin play this month.

In a Sept. 22, 2013 meeting of the Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors, the group voted to approve amendments boosting increased television rights fees. The changes, which were spurred by the expansion, affect three years of agreements with ESPN (2014-2016) and 14 years with BTN (2014-2027), according to information obtained by The Gazette. BTN, of which the league owns 49 percent, also secured penetration into the Washington D.C. and New York City markets this summer, which adds to the revenue spike.

Iowa budgeted $25.455 million from league sources in fiscal year 2014 and received about $26.3 million.

Iowa’s 2015 athletics budget is $89.65 million, up 6.4 percent from 2014 and a 26.7 percent increase from 2011. With a $1 per ticket increase for this fall, plus a $200,000 guarantee from Pittsburgh, Iowa budgeted $22.136 million in football income. That’s a spike of about $735,000 from the 2014 fiscal year, which ended June 30.

Year over year, Iowa State athletics’ budget grew by 4.3 percent to $62.6 million, while Northern Iowa’s revenues are nearly flat at 1.1 percent ($13.07 million).

ISU budgeted about a $700,000 less in football ticket revenue at around $9.4 million, mostly because of a record sales that nearly reached $10 million last year. ISU estimates Big 12 revenue to exceed $25.8 million, up from $23.5 million last year.

Northern Iowa anticipates significant growth in ticket revenue for both football and men’s basketball. UNI budgeted $1.38 million in football ticket income, a jump of 75.5 percent. The men’s basketball ticket budget is set at $871,200, a 14.3 percent jump over 2014 fiscal year numbers.

UNI’s university support will drop by more than $200,000 but that loss will be offset with a near $150,000 increase in student activity fees.

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