Just curious. Is our baseball program break-even or better from a pure cash-flow standpoint? Just cash-in and cash-out. No expense for lost tuition from scholarships, amortization, depreciation, etc. I think Arkansas and LSU have near perfect set-ups for their programs. Great facilities, fans, winning traditions, etc. If they aren’t at least cash-flow break even, I would think it’s probably not possible for a D-1 college baseball program under current rules and regulations.
If we are operating with a positive cash-flow, would we be able to provide more scholarship aid, or does the NCAA and/or SEC control the maximum number of total scholarships that a member school can provide? If they do control that, have we ever made proposals to try and get that changed?
NCAA controls everything about scholarships, and it doesn’t matter if UA or LSU or Oregon State could afford to give 25 scholarships. The have-nots in Division I want to make sure the haves can’t spend them into the ground, and they have more votes. That, and Title IX plays into it, since most D-I schools start out with warped scholarship numbers because football takes up 85 scholies for men only, and the most any women’s sport can give is 18. Every sport that is contested by both genders (including baseball/softball) has more scholarships for women than men, and that’s why. It’s also why we have 11 sports for women and 8 for men.
The NCAA baseball limit is 11.7 scholarships, by the way. Softball is 12.
LSU might make a little money, we’re probably close to break even, Ole Miss and Moo U probably come close as well. Doubt anyone else is close.
In fiscal 2017, the baseball program had about $3.9 million in revenue and about $4.3 million in expenses. There was a time when the baseball program could break even or come out slightly ahead with a strong season attendance, but it is my opinion that the gap between revenue and expenses will continue to widen because the costs associated with baseball (like coaches’ salaries) will increase at a quicker rate than revenues. The increase in ticket prices will offset that some. Before Wes Johnson left last week, the coaching staff was set to receive a cumulative pay raise of about $435,000 over last year. If the program continues to succeed, coaching salaries will increase in order to retain quality assistants. There has to be a delicate balance in raising ticket prices. Arkansas built its insanely-loyal baseball fan base, in part, by being a value for ticket buyers.
I nearly choked when I saw the renewal price for my season tickets. I can remember when those tickets would have been less than half that. My wife reminded me how much I enjoy Razorback baseball and that made shelling out the money easier. If the prices keep going up in the future, someone else may have my premium seats, maybe one of the big donors who have seats around me but never show up.
For a great many games, you can move from down by the foul poles and slide into a very good seat at Baum that is generally left empty. But when the opponent and the weather is good, not so easy to move into those spots.