Breaking Down the Budget

March 2, 2015

How does an NCAA Division I athletic department generate and dole out $89.6 million? Here's a look at the budget at the University of Iowa.

According to KCRG-TV9, the biggest source of income for the Hawkeye athletic department during the 2014-15 fiscal year is the Big 10 conference. Television revenue from the conference's broadcast partners, as well as the money divided between conference members from NCAA playoffs and tournaments, adds up to $30.7 million. Iowa Athletic Director Gary Barta said that this money, most of which comes from television, "has allowed [our department] to become self-sustaining.”

The next largest income source is the $26.5 million generated by ticket sales—$22.1 million of which comes from the football program. Barta said this fiscal year represents the first time ticket sales revenues are lower than monies earned from media sources.

The University of Iowa Foundation—the fundraising arm of the university—brings in $10.7 million, and generates another $8.2 million through the sales of premium seats. The final big chunk of revenue, $6 million, comes from a university broadcast contract with Learfield Sports.

Where does the money go? The largest amount goes to the football program, which has $19.8 million in costs. Men's basketball takes $5.7 million, the Hawkeyes' top-ranked wrestling program is allocated $1.4 million, and the remaining men's sports split $4.9 million. Women's sports cost $14.6 million for the department, $3.9 million of which goes to women's basketball and $1.5 million of which is assigned to volleyball.

Providing for the athletic teams is the biggest cost to the department, but there are four other major areas where the money goes: Facility debt service--the cost for facility upgrades--is $15.8 million, administrative and general expenses cost $11.9 million, and buildings and grounds eat up $10.1 million.

The department also transfers $11 million to the central campus to pay for athletic scholarships, a number that, as Barta told KCRG, "keeps going up because the cost of education keeps going up.” Finally, $2 million goes to academic services and counseling, with $1.8 million earmarked for training services. 

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