SBD/June 13, 2012/Colleges

Florida's Athletic Budget Stays Over $96M, But Sees Lag In Football Ticket Sales

Florida's budget for '12-13 projects more than $1M in lost revenue from luxury seat sales
The Univ. of Florida Athletic Association yesterday "passed a budget of about $97.6 million" for the '12-13 school year -- "slightly above last year's proposed budget," according to David Jones of FLORIDA TODAY. But a sign of concern "is a decline of season ticket sales in football." Despite "selling over 1,200 season tickets in recent weeks the school is about 250 below last year's total at the same time but still over the 50,000 mark." UF is "concerned enough, however, to start the campaign that included TV ads and emails to area businesses plus city and county organizations to allow 'some people who didn't realize tickets were available.'" The budget for the new school year "projects more than $1 million in lost revenue from luxury seat sales for football." But a $3 per ticket "increase in ticket prices for the upcoming season more than covers the losses." The athletic department is "giving back $6 million to the school for the third straight year." UF will receive "a projected $33.8 million from Gator Boosters Inc., in the coming year but also get about $16.5 million from the [Southeastern Conference] through bowls, television and championships." An additional "$22 million-plus is expected from football ticket sales tied to required donations" (FLORIDA TODAY, 6/13).

GATOR-AID: In Gainesville, Nathan Crabbe notes UF's recent marketing campaign "is meant to fight the misconception that there is a season ticket waiting list." UF Athletic Association officials said that they are "working against the trend of fans staying home in a tough economy to watch high-definition broadcasts, something happening in all of sports." UF's 137-game home sellout streak "was snapped last season as three home games weren't sellouts." Association officials "dismissed the connection to the team's struggles on the field, instead attributing it to opposing teams returning a larger than usual number of unsold tickets" (GAINESVILLE SUN, 6/13).
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