The Univ. of Maryland’s football season-ticket sales “are down 18 percent from a year ago, one last lingering hit for the cash-strapped athletic department from a rough 2011 on the field,” according to Patrick Stevens of the WASHINGTON TIMES. UMD has sold 16,241 season tickets through Friday, "down from 19,892 a year ago.” The shrinking base “comes in the wake of the Terrapins’ 2-10 record a year ago.” UMD AD Kevin Anderson said, “We projected that there could be a shortfall in season tickets. We’ll be at the projected budget number that we projected at the beginning of the year. What it does is it does limit us from growing the program and doing things we like to do for the student-athlete, but that’s just where we are right now.” Anderson said that there are "nearly 1,400 new season-ticket holders, meaning almost 5,000 have left the fold since last year.” Stevens reported season-ticket data over the past decade “is sobering for a department in vital need of revenue even after eliminating seven sports from its athletics tableau earlier this year.” UMD “enjoyed sizable bumps following each of its double-digit win seasons" from '01-03, and season-ticket sales doubled "from less than 14,000 in 2001 to more than 28,000 in 2005.” But support “gradually eroded as Maryland settled into a string of largely average seasons, with season ticket sales declining in six of the past seven years.” Since '05, UMD "has lost more than 43 percent of its season ticket base and has struggled to fill 54,000-seat Byrd Stadium even after the school constructed 64 luxury suites before the 2009 season” (WASHINGTON TIMES, 8/27).
ROCKY TOP DOWN: In Knoxville, Brendan Quinn reports the Univ. of Tennessee athletic department saw its "already strained financial reserve shrink under $2 million following the 2011-12 fiscal year.” The department yesterday reported revenues totaling $106,485,376 against expenses of $110,466,652, "creating a deficit" of $3.98M. While the department said in a release that the shortfall was anticipated, Quinn writes it “shrank a reserve nest egg of approximately $5.5 million.” UT Chancellor Jimmy Cheek said, “We have reorganized the athletics department, we have downsized the department, so those all had some cost savings with them.” He added, “We will continue to look at all operations and see where we can reduce expenditures this year” (KNOXVILLE NEWS-SENTINEL, 8/28).