Wisconsin’s athletic department is estimating a revenue loss of between $ 60 million and $ 70 million if the Badgers play only one conference, a 10-game season and a loss of more than $ 100 million if canceled due to the coronavirus virus It is done.
In a letter to Wisconsin fans posted on the athletic department website on Thursday, athletic director Barry Alvarez wrote, “Regardless of what our fall season looks like, we’re facing a huge financial challenge. I don’t think This experience is an ornament to say. We are loved as badgers and the legacy of our extraordinary athletic department is in danger. “
A Wisconsin spokesperson told ESPN that the financial model considers limited capacity at home football games, but did not say what percentage.
Alvarez said that the Badgers estimated an operating budget of $ 140 million for the 2020-21 academic year.
“I am confident that we will arrive at a monumental crossroads in the coming days,” Alvarez wrote. “We will have two options: stay at the head of the class or fall behind. Whatever we pride ourselves on – competing at the highest level, developing world-class student-athletes and lifting the trophy – financially Our ability to support depends on our student-athletes. “
Wisconsin officials told the Wisconsin State Journal that the athletic department would have to go to its reserve fund to make up the difference. According to the report, there were $ 190 million in reserve funds at the end of FY 2018-19.
The 25 highest-paid employees of the athletic department are making a voluntary 15% reduction in pay and all employees are participating in a work-sharing program that reduces their hours by 20% or 50%.
The Badgers have also halted the $ 77 million renovation of Camp Randall Stadium, restricted travel and all fares.
Alvarez wrote, “These steps have allowed us to avoid the strict decisions that other schools already have to make, such as ending games or retrenchment of staff.” “We have taken many steps, but we have to do a lot more.”
According to the NCAA, the university’s most recent financial report, in 2018-19, Wisconsin’s football program accounted for about 58% of the department’s $ 58.7 million in revenue. The Badgers generated $ 24 million in ticket sales and $ 8.3 million from football-related contributions, plus $ 45.6 million from media rights, $ 9.4 million from Bowl revenue, and $ 5.3 million from program sales, parking and concessions.
If the season is not played, the Badgers money on certain expenses, including team travel ($ 1.3 million in 2018–19), rival guarantees ($ 3.1 million), sports expenses ($ 1 million) and bowl expenses ($ 2.1 million). Will save Most of the $ 40.4 million in expenses such as athlete student aid, coaching salaries and facility loan service are fixed costs.