Athletics Director Greg Byrne's weekly email discussing Wildcat Athletics.
Aug. 1, 2012
GOOD TO BE BACK
It’s great to be back in the full swing of things as we prepare to open the 2012 fall sports season. I’ve enjoyed watching several current and former Arizona Wildcats compete in the summer Olympics in London. You can find a schedule of events for Arizona athletes here, and we’ll recap their results in a later entry of the Wildcat Wednesday. Football reported today and will open camp tomorrow along with soccer, while volleyball opens camp on Aug. 8. As those of you who follow me on Twitter at @Greg_Byrne may know, I was able to enjoy a week away in Alaska. It was a nice opportunity to spend time with Regina and the boys, and to “recharge my batteries” for what is going to be another exciting year for Arizona Athletics!
In this edition of the Wildcat Wednesday we will be sharing some very important financial information. It’s lengthy, but we thought it was important to share all at once. I appreciate you taking time to read it in full when you can.
FOCUS ON FINANCE
Our department closed the books on the 2011-12 year in mid-July, and I’m pleased to report to you that for the 27th straight year Arizona Athletics has finished in the black. Arizona Athletics generated over $68,907,000 in revenues for fiscal year 2011-12, including gate receipts, donations, advertising and sponsorships, radio rights fees, concessions, guarantees, transfers-in, and others sources (including licensing, and Conference postseason and broadcast rights payouts). Expenses totaling $68,370,000 were primarily from student-athlete services, travel, scholarships, salaries and transfers-out. Revenues exceeded expenses by $537,000.
Arizona Athletics receives 315 tuition waivers annually, authorized by the Arizona Board of Regents. Tuition waivers are also granted to ASU and NAU. The athletics department is responsible for covering room, board and book costs to supplement the tuition waivers and is responsible for generating revenues to cover the department’s annual operating costs. The Department receives no state appropriations or student fees. Additionally, all funds required for new facilities and renovations are provided through the continued support and generosity of Athletics Department ticket buyers and donors.
I wish to thank our University for providing us with the support needed to generate the revenues necessary to meet our budgetary obligations. I also want to thank our staff and support personnel who truly care about our student-athletes and mission, and work hard throughout the year to keep our department going. And I want to especially thank our fans. I can’t repeat enough that you are the difference in making this happen. We are here to provide opportunities to young men and women to attend college, to get a degree and compete at the highest levels of athletic competition. Without your attendance and financial support our ability to do so would not be possible. Thank you!
PAC-12 BROADCAST RIGHTS AND NETWORK
Pac-12 members and their fans will enjoy unprecendented cover that comes with the new television broadcast rights contract with ABC/ESPN and FOX; and a taste of the expanding future in the soon-to-be-launched Pac-12 Networks (Aug. 15). The national broadcast rights agreement brings an immediate uplift in revenues to the Conference which will be shared with each member institution. The fact that all of our league’s games in several sports, and hundreds of games in many other sports, will be available nationally is a huge step toward continuing to expand the Pac-12 Conference and University of Arizona brands.
This visionary move by our conference to start the Pac-12 Networks (and allied digital networks) will one day be a bountiful source of steady income. It’s not there yet. While we are excited for what the immediate and long-term future holds for Pac-12 Networks, it’s important to share that the financial potential for increased revenues from the Networks will not be immediate nor the complete solution to our long-term budgetary needs.
As we prepare for the football season opener on Sept. 1, the $72.3 million Lowell-Stevens Football Facility is the most visible statement of our growth. Make no mistake, we’re aiming high. We’re aiming to add more Pac-12 and NCAA championships. We’re aiming for academic excellence, and national prominence. We’re moving forward in a big way, as we Invest in Success. The 2012 season will be played while the building is constructed in view, and it will serve as a reminder of how we plan to support each of our programs.
We have clear goals in mind when it comes to maintaining our elite-level programs:
Recruiting Elite Student-Athletes: Our coaches have done an excellent job attracting the best student-athletes. However, in an increasingly competitive environment a high caliber facility is necessary to continue the recruitment and training of the elite student-athletes we have become accustomed to having at Arizona.
oEnhancing Revenue Generation: Premium seating and associated amenities are needed to maintain the necessary revenue base and donor support which finances all of Arizona Athletics sport programs.
oImproving Fan Amenities: Facility renovations and upgrades to seating and fan amenities such as concessions and restrooms are needed to maintain and enhance the value that our fans receive when attending our athletic events.In addition to the Lowell-Stevens Football Facility we are presently reviewing options for additional renovations to Arizona Stadium that will substantially impact the fan experience; as well as renovations to McKale Center and Hillenbrand Stadium, a golf practice facility, and other projects that help our programs be the best in the nation. These capital projects are an investment in our future, and carry a substantial financial cost.
For 2012-13 and beyond we’ve positioned Arizona Athletics for success. We’ve made a commitment to improve football and maximize the potential it has to help generate revenue and support all 19 of our sports programs. We need you to do the same. You’ve heard me say, “pull the rope.” If we’re all pulling the rope in the same direction then together we can accomplish our goals. We can’t do it without you.
INVEST IN SUCCESS
I challenge all our supporters to Invest in Success. Support the entire Arizona intercollegiate athletics program by purchasing tickets, coming to games, and joining the Wildcat Club.
Our price structure for football tickets is currently one of the best major-college values around. We want to keep it that way to mirror the economy, but we also will need to grow our revenue as we enter the middle of this decade. As such we will need to consider periodically raising prices as needed to help meet the financial obligations in which we are now invested. Football affords us the most growth potential because of our following and history of attendance. However, there’s room to grow our crowds.
Our three-game home stand to open the 2012 season the first weeks in September give us a great chance to set the tone for Rich Rodriguez’s first year as leader of the program. We can do it with your help.
In addition to generating revenue to support its student-athletes and sports programs, a successful athletics program can also provide a positive economic impact to the University and local community.
A national television broadcast agreement not only brings revenue, expands our reach, and makes Arizona games more readily available to our fans and alumni, but improves the exposure of our department, the University, and Tucson. Blue skies and scenic video of our mountains and sunsets serve as a valuable invitation to viewers to visit our city and attend our great University.
We take great pride in knowing that our University shares in the positive financial impact of our strong programs. Revenues from parking, concessions, licensing and souvenirs, among other sources, provide some financial benefit for our campus community.
The Athletics Department recognizes that we have a special opportunity to play a critical role in our local economy. We want to be a positive contributing factor to our community. Not just as a very visible representative and marketing platform for our University and Tucson, but also as an economic engine. Bringing money into our community helps everyone, including Athletics. The influx of dollars also means jobs and more discretionary income which we hope will in part be spent in support of the Arizona Wildcats.
Events such as football games, and key basketball and baseball weekends are showcase opportunities for visitors, a major tourism invite, which provide an important economic contribution to our community.
We’ve previously mentioned that a former Eller MBA candidate (and now graduate) found visitors to Tucson spent an estimated $8.2 million in this community because of the 2010 Iowa football game. According to formulas provided by the Eller College of Management Economic and Business Research Center (EBR), the $8.2 million added a total of $13.8 million to the Tucson economy, caused by money multipliers when the same dollar gets spent over and over. The season-long impact was estimated at $37.5 million spent by visitors in Tucson, with a $61.6 million boost to Tucson economy factoring in money multipliers.
We feel that it is important to team up with community groups to assist us with our goal to showcase the positive impact of the Athletics Department annual student-athlete sporting events. The Metropolitan Tucson Convention and Visitors Bureau (MTCVB) is this region’s tourism expert in promoting the destination and attracting out of town visitors. They regularly track and report the impact of tourism to our region from leisure travel, conventions, and amateur sporting events.
Recently the MTCVB reported to the City of Tucson and Pima County on Arizona Athletic partnered events for hotel rooms and the overall estimated economic impact of these events. Only the rooms used for official team travel are included, so these figures do not account for additional revenue (i.e. food and beverage, transportation) tied to fans or other visitors in town for the events but who were not a part of the official travel parties.
Total of recent Arizona Athletics events $1,212,780
While we work to continue to build Arizona into a national powerhouse, we know we can also strengthen our local economy. It’s a win-win situation, and hopefully provides you further incentive to support our department and Invest in Success for Tucson through Arizona Athletics.
SINGLE-GAME FOOTBALL TICKETS
One of the best ways to Invest in Success is to buy tickets. Volleyball and soccer season ticket are on sale now, as are football season tickets and mini-plans. We’ll have a special single-game ticket pre-sale for current 2012-13 Wildcat Club members and/or football season ticket holders starting at 10 a.m. this Saturday (Aug. 4). This pre-sale is exclusively available online at arizonawildcats.com. Single-game tickets for the general public will go on sale at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Aug.11, also exclusively online at arizonawildcats.com. The McKale Ticket Office will sell single-game tickets the Monday following each of these online on-sale dates (Aug. 6 for Wildcat Club members and/or season ticket holders and Aug. 13 for the general public). We hope to see you at Arizona Stadium for this memorable season. Think Arizona, Buy Tickets.
WEARING THE COLORS ALL SUMMER LONG
We received lots of photos this summer of fans wearing the colors. Below are Vanessa Florez atop Rockefeller Center with Empire State beyond, other is the Tony Wingate photo from Egypt with a camel wearing the A hat – ‘Wildcam’ he called it. Check out this photo gallery of other fans showing off their Wildcat pride this summer.
Continue to do what you can to help Arizona Athletics and: