Michigan Football's On-Field Improvement Helps Improve Athletics' Financial Position In '16
An improved product on the field and a "renewed excitement for Michigan football last fall contributed to an improved financial position" for the school's athletic department, according to Martin Slagter of MLIVE.com. UM's overall "revenue in spectator admissions increased" to $45.1M for FY '16, compared to $41.9M in '15. The $3.2M rise was primarily due to an "increase in football ticket demand." In comparison, "spectator admissions decreased" $8.3M in '15 due to a "decrease in football, men's basketball and ice hockey admissions." Overall, the athletic department "saw an increase" of $7.8M to its net position for FY '16, which is up from '15's $1M overall increase. The athletic department's operating revenue increased by $6.4M to $114.9M in '16, due primarily to "increases in spectator admissions and conference distributions" from the Big Ten. In '15, operating revenues decreased $5.9M, primarily due to "decreases in spectator admissions and facilities revenues." Operating expenses increased $7.3M in '16, which was due to "increases in team travel expense and student financial aid." The department's operating expenses increased $6.6M in '15, primarily due to the "cost of employee severance, the investment in new football staff and an increase in student financial aid." Overall, UM finished with a $332,000 surplus for FY '16, with $155.5M in total revenue and $155.1 in total expenses. UM also saw an "increase in corporate sponsorships and other royalties," from $22.2M in '15 to $23.8M in '16 (MLIVE.com, 10/21).