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BYU Athletics Financial Report Highlights Importance Of Ticket Sales For Revenue

BYU Basketball fans cheering during game in WCC Tournament on March 9th, 2020. (BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)

PROVO, Utah – The 2019-20 academic year was a successful one for BYU Athletics. Elite teams that put BYU in the national conversation of their respective sports.

With great teams comes a larger interest from fans to attend those sporting events.

BYU released its annual Financial Report for donors this month and ticket sales to sporting events during the 2019-20 academic year was the number one driver for revenue for the faith-based athletic department.

Ticket sales made up 26 percent of BYU’s revenue for the past academic year. That’s nine percent higher than the next closest revenue stream being corporate sponsorships.

With the upcoming academic year amid the COVID-19 pandemic posing so many unknowns, including with fan attendance, BYU like nearly everyone else in college athletics could see significantly less revenue compared to previous years.

BYU historically has always run its athletic department in the black and that continues even as a program that has football playing as an FBS Independent.

BYU Revenue sources in 2019-20

Ticket Sales – 26%

Corporate Sponsorship – 17%

Tuition Allocation – 14%

Cougar Club Donations – 13%

Sports Camps – 8%

Other Revenue – 6%

Broadcast Revenue – 6%

Spendable Endowment – 6%

Conference/NCAA Revenue – 2%

Guarantee Income – 1%

Attendance at BYU sporting events trending up

The top two sports for ticket sales are football and men’s basketball. Football witnessed its best home game attendance in six years averaging 59,457 fans per game with a home slate that featured four ranked opponents traveling to Provo.

BYU basketball also had an uptick from 11,958 in the final year under Dave Rose to an average of 12,626 fans per game in Mark Pope’s first campaign. In women’s soccer, BYU led the nation in attendance averaging 3,467 fans per game.

BYU Expenses in 2019-20

Salaries & Benefits – 37%

Facilities / Game Expense – 13%

Travel – 12%

Financial Aid – 8%

Meals – 8%

Marketing – 7%

Other – 6%

Gear/Equipment – 4%

Guarantees – 3%

Recruiting – 2%

Medical – 1%

Biggest costs for BYU athletics

It’s no surprise salaries and benefits make up the biggest portion of expenses for BYU sports. BYU does not release their salaries publicly but in 2018 Athletic Director Tom Holmoe stated the football staff assembled with Jeff Grimes as offensive coordinator was the most expensive in the program’s history.

BYU basketball coach Mark Pope turned down interest from schools out west before ultimately agreeing to a deal with the Cougars.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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