Athletics budgets on the rise

ACC schools have increased their athletics department budgets by an average of 14.6% in the last two years according to research compiled by Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal. The Big 12 was second among BCS conferences with a 12.6% average increase.

One of the factors is new league television deals. The ACC doubled its TV revenues when it signed a new ESPN contract. The Big 12 recently agreed to a deal with FOX Sports for its second-tier rights.

At a local level, the Cyclones’ athletics budget increased 17.3% over the two years. Iowa State still ranks last in the Big 12 for athletics budget, but the gap with competition continues to narrow. The only league school with a higher percentage increase was Texas, which raised its nation’s largest athletics budget by 18.2%.

The Longhorns, in fact, tower over everyone nationally in sports budget. Their FY12 projection is $153.5 million. To put that into perspective, UT is $27,000,000 higher than the nation’s second-ranked (in budget terms) school, Ohio State.

“A lot of change in spending is related to making reinvestments in facilities, based largely on money from new TV deals,” Iowa State’s Jamie Pollard is quoted as saying. “We’re going forward with three new projects (scoreboard, Cyclone Sports Complex and a football training facility) and we’re taking on debt for that, but we’re doing so knowing that revenue is going up.”

If you want to review Michael Smith’s research, click here.

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