The University of Michigan athletic department reported a slight operating surplus for the current fiscal year and is projecting a slight decrease in total operating revenues and expenses for fiscal year 2024.
Warde Manuel, the Donald R. Shepherd Director of Athletics, presented the department’s financial projections and spending plan for FY ’24 to the Board of Regents on June 15.
For FY ’23, the athletic department projects a slight operating surplus of $200,000 based on operating revenues of $215.1 million and operating expenses of $214.9 million. Spectator admission revenues increased notably due to the number of home football games, while expenses increased significantly in certain areas due to inflation.
Looking ahead to the 2023-24 operating budget, the athletic department projects a slight decrease in total operating revenues and total operating expenses due to various factors.
Elements of the new budget include:
- Spectator admission revenues are projected to decrease by $8.7 million due to fewer home football games, from eight in 2022 to seven in 2023, combined with a commitment to maintaining current ticket pricing.
- A projected $5.2 million increase in Big Ten Conference distributions, primarily due to increased television revenues, will not fully offset that revenue decrease.
- In FY ’23, inflation contributed significantly to the growth in expenses. Increases of 15% or more affected large expense line items such as team travel, recruiting and student-athlete meals. These increased costs are carried forward to the FY ’24 budget.
- Included in operating expenses is a $1 million transfer to a deferred maintenance fund for major repair and rehabilitation projects for athletic facilities. The athletic department expects to continue setting aside additional funds for this purpose in future years.
As part of the presentation to the board, Manuel also shared some of the department’s top achievements on and off the field.
U-M had another strong year, with 491 student-athletes earning Academic All-Big Ten Conference compared with 507 in the previous year, 499 in the year prior, and 405 in the 2019-20 academic year. Overall, 695 of approximately 950 student-athletes earned a grade-point average of 3.0 or better during the academic year.
Through June 2, 44 student-athletes earned All-America honors during the year. In addition, the university had 116 student-athletes earn All-Big Ten honors, with 35 student-athletes winning individual conference championships after 24 earned titles the previous season.
U-M set a single-season and Big Ten member record with 13 team conference championships, again leading all Big Ten Conference schools in that category. U-M also won 13 team championships during the 2021-22 season, although one came from outside conference play.
The Wolverines entered the spring season in fifth place in the LEARFIELD Directors’ Cup standings thanks to 13 top-20 national finishes.