Memphis AD Details Plans For Increasing Ticket Sales, Media Deal
Univ. of Memphis AD Tom Bowen yesterday laid out a vision for the athletic program to the school's BOT, with an "emphasis on increasing season ticket sales and securing a more lucrative media rights deal," according to Evan Barnes of the Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL. Bowen "stressed how important negotiating a better media rights deal will be not just for Memphis," but the entire AAC. The AAC currently receives $24M from TV rights that is "distributed evenly among the 12 members." While part of Bowen's vision includes "increasing donations and football season ticket sales from 22,500 last year to 29,000-30,000, he believed the media rights deal was the most crucial part and that AAC schools should be receiving" more than $2M each. Bowen: "This has to happen. This has to take place." Memphis President David Rudd said that while he "expects resolution on a media rights deal to come within 10-12 months, it 'won't approach a $30-40 million payout,' which is why he wanted to focus more on increasing ticket sales and donations." During FY '16-17, Memphis saw its athletics department "turn a profit despite contributions to the basketball program decreasing" by $1.1M and football revenue declining by $1.4M. This season, Memphis saw a "slight decline in football attendance, and the basketball team is facing its lowest home attendance in nearly 50 years" (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 3/8).