Iowa Hawkeyes

University of Iowa athletics revenue below budget

Iowa State brings in more than expected, debuts designs for sports performance center

The Iowa Hawkeyes swarm as they take the field for their B1G conference football game at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City on Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
The Iowa Hawkeyes swarm as they take the field for their B1G conference football game at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City on Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

IOWA CITY — University of Iowa athletics revenue came in below expectations for the budget year that ended June 30 — thanks, in part, to subpar football and basketball income.

Although the $116.2 million in total UI athletics revenue for fiscal 2018 was $839,111 below the budgeted $117.1 million, it still represented an increase over 2017 revenue, according to budget documents made public this week by the Board of Regents Office.

In 2017, total UI athletics revenue reached $115.1 million, which — unlike this year — was about $13 million above its $102 million budget.

Big Ten Conference contributions have helped sustain a UI athletics program that saw football and basketball revenue fall short of expectations in both 2017 and 2018. In the budget year that just ended, Hawkeye football generated $21.7 million — below its $23.5 million budget and last year’s $24.1 million total.

“Men’s sports income was less than the budget due to lower than projected season and individual ticket sales,” according to the board documents.

At the same time, both Hawkeye football and basketball overspent their budgets in 2017 and 2018 — with the football squad in 2017 overspending by $2.8 million and then more than $865,000 in the most recent budget year, according to the board budget.

Expenses were above budget “primarily due to higher student-athlete food costs,” according to the report.

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But athletic conference income exceeded budget expectations “due to bowl income distributions,” the report said.

Instead of an anticipated $50.4 million from the Big Ten Conference — the Hawkeyes’ biggest moneymaker by far — it allocated to Iowa $52.6 million. Big Ten money, derived primarily from the league’s television contract, spiked last year from $33.8 million in 2016 and then $36.2 million in 2017.

In 2016, UI athletics officials estimated Iowa wouldn’t get more than $50 million from the Big Ten until 2022-23.

UI athletics, which is fundraising for an $89 million renovation of Kinnick Stadium’s north end zone, reported in board documents that “less foundation support than budgeted was needed to support athletic operations” in the most recent budget year.

Thus, according to the report, philanthropic support for UI athletics in fiscal 2018 was nearly $1 million under budget and $2.7 million under last year.

Meanwhile, both University of Northern Iowa and Iowa State University athletics saw income above budget and above last year’s totals, according to the report.

UNI brought in $14.4 million, and Iowa State generated $83.6 million — which was $7.8 million above budget and $5.6 million above last year. Iowa State was the only one among the three schools to top its budget in football and basketball revenue in 2018 — bringing in $10.7 million for football, or $308,810 above budget.

Iowa State this week also debuted new schematic designs and renderings for its planned $90 million renovation of Jack Trice Stadium, which includes a new sports performance center and north entry plaza.

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Iowa State is asking the Board of Regents next week to approve the project, which will be paid for by private gifts and athletics operations money.

The sports performance center, according to board documents, would be a four-story addition on the east side of the Bergstrom Football Complex.

The basement will house locker rooms for soccer and softball, as well as batting cages, and training facilities for strength, conditioning and agility.

The first level will be dedicated to football operations, including locker rooms, nutrition services and hydrotherapy equipment. Conference rooms and offices will fill the second level, and classrooms and labs committed to athlete academics will go on the third floor.

The fourth floor will provide dining and nutrition space, according to Iowa State’s proposal.

“Levels three and four would provide views south to Jack Trice Stadium, east to the new north entry plaza and north to the (sports performance center).”

A timeline for the project, which would add 163,534 gross square feet of athletics-related facilities, has construction spanning from spring 2019 to fall 2021.

l Comments: (319) 339-3158; vanessa.miller@thegazette.com

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