I stumbled across this data from ESPN which lists college athletic expenses and revenues for 2008. There are two things that stood out for me, one is that some schools spend over a $1 million in recruiting costs (that seems high even by today’s standards). Secondly, you may think that spending a lot is necessary in order to get greater revenues (yes and no). Some teams will fill their stadiums even if the team is just alright, Notre Dame sells out all of its games and Michigan seats over 100,000 most of which is sold out whether they’re playing Michigan State or Appalachian State (sorry had to put that in). For these big programs it’s not the ticket revenues that the wins are for, it’s the donations to the school. Donations tend to go up when the teams are winning because people want to be associated with a winning program. For schools such as Alabama, Florida, or Oklahoma State the money given in donations exceeds revenue from ticket sales. Take a look at some of the numbers in the files below, if anything seems interesting to you please let me know.
College Athletics Revenues – ESPN
College Athletics Revenues and Expenses – ESPN