Ohio State preparing for $130 million loss in athletics revenue


COLUMBUS, OH – NOVEMBER 9: Three F/A-18 jets perform a flyover before the start of the Maryland Terrapins at Ohio State Buckeyes football game at Ohio Stadium on November 9, 2019 in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State defeated Maryland 73-14. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (NewsNation) — The Ohio State University is preparing for a $130 million decline in athletics revenue in 2021 due to the postponed fall athletics season.

The 2020 Big Ten Conference fall athletics seasons, which includes football, field hockey, men’s and women’s soccer, women’s volleyball and men’s and women’s cross country, have been postponed and is a major driver of this decrease, according to the university.

The delayed fall season and related ticket, media, conference and game guarantee revenue adds up to a loss of $130.3 million over the fiscal year, according to documents released in advance of an upcoming Board of Trustees meeting.

According to the university’s most recent available financial report submitted to the NCAA, for fiscal year 2019, football accounts for more than half of the Department of Athletics revenue.

During the 2018-2019 season, football was responsible for $115 million of the $210 million the university generated through athletics in a season that saw Buckeyes football win the Big Ten championship and the Rose Bowl. Football ticket sales alone generated $50 million. Football media rights, another $34 million.

During the 2018-2019 season, the athletics department operated $10 million in the red, according to the financial report.

The next-highest source of sports revenue in the 2018-19 season — behind football — came from no specific team at all. This $61 million was mostly made up of outside contributions like donations and certain funds ($26m), as well as royalties and sponsorships ($20m).

The third-highest revenue source for OSU athletics was men’s basketball, bringing in just under $25 million, mostly from media rights ($11m), ticket sales ($6m) and direct money from the NCAA ($4m).

Most of the smaller sports, like lacrosse, soccer and field hockey, rely heavily on things like camps, endowments and royalties to bring in revenue.

NewsNation affilate WCMH contributed to this report.  

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