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Football catalyst to Arkansas' jump in revenue expectations
FAYETTEVILLE Arkansas’ athletics budget is expected to surpass the $60 million mark this year thanks to increased revenue from football ticket sales.
The buzz surrounding the Razorbacks’ upcoming football season, the third under Coach Bobby Petrino, may have factored into the high revenue expectations from university officials .
Revenue from football ticket sales is expected to jump $2.8 million higher compared to the 2009-10 fiscal year, according to a budget summary obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.
Arkansas, which reported $23.3 million in football revenue for 2009-10, is expected to generate $26.1 million from football ticket sales this season.
The 12.1 percent increase is reflected in an increase in ticket prices. Tickets for Southeastern Conference games in Fayetteville will jump from $45 to $55, and a $10 fee will be added to tickets for games played in Little Rock. A non-conference game in Little Rock will cost ticket-purchasers $55 while a ticket to the LSU game will rise to $65.
The total operating budget for the athletic department in the new fiscal year is $63.3 million, an increase of 5 percent from last year. The UA is expected to pull in $17 million from SEC and NCAA revenue distrubtion, a jump from $16.5 million in 2010.
Ticket sales for basketball, which has endured back-to-back losing seasons, was budgeted conservatively and experienced the largest drop in revenue — a 7.3 percent decrease from 2010. Basketball attendance hit a 17-year low last season, when Arkansas averaged 13,182 people.
Arkansas officials budgeted $6.3 million in revenue for the basketball program in the 2010-11 fiscal year.
Expenditures in 18 of 19 athletic programs within the department are expected to increase. Men’s track expenditures will decrease 2.5 percent to $1.5 million.
Factors such as an increase or decrease in travel for games factor into the budget expectations. Expenditures in football will jump 8.4 percent to $15.2 million.