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Ohio State preparing for $130 million loss in athletics revenue

College Sports

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Ohio State University is preparing for a $130 million decline in athletics revenue in fiscal year 2021, compared to fiscal year 2020, due to the postponed fall athletic season.

According to documents released in advance of an upcoming Board of Trustees meeting, the delayed fall season and related ticket, media, conference and game guarantee revenue adds up to a loss of $130.3 million over the fiscal year.

The 2020 Big Ten Conference fall athletics seasons, which include the sports of football, field hockey, men’s and women’s soccer, women’s volleyball and men’s and women’s cross country, have been postponed and is a major driver of this decrease, according to the university.

According to the university’s most recent available financial report submitted to the NCAA, reflecting fiscal year 2019, football accounts for more than half of the Department of Athletics revenue.

During the 2018-2019 season, football was responsible for $115 million of the $210 million the university generated through athletics in a season that saw Buckeyes football win the Big Ten championship and the Rose Bowl. Football ticket sales alone generated $50 million. Football media rights, another $34 million.

The bar chart below breaks down OSU’s athletics revenue by sport and type of revenue.

During the 2018-2019 season, the athletics department operated $10 million in the red, according to the financial report.

The next-highest source of sports revenue in the 2018-19 season — behind football — came from no specific team at all. This $61 million was mostly made up of outside contributions like donations and certain funds ($26m), as well as royalties and sponsorships ($20m).

The third-highest revenue source for OSU athletics was men’s basketball, bringing in just under $25 million, mostly from media rights ($11m), ticket sales ($6m) and direct money from the NCAA ($4m).

Most of the smaller sports, like lacrosse, soccer and field hockey, rely heavily on things like camps, endowments and royalties to bring in revenue.

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