I have some stuff to share with you from the Georgia Tech Athletic Association meeting last Thursday. I was going to blog about it last week but the Brian Oliver transfer came up.
The budget for fiscal year ‘12 was approved at $58.9 million, up from $55.1 million in the past fiscal year. Increased revenues from the new ESPN contract and also the stronger home football schedule (Clemson, Virginia Tech, Georgia) are expected to cover the increased expenses (more on that below).
Some of the increased costs are due to the firing of basketball coach Paul Hewitt and also the impact of moving the basketball games off campus due to the renovation of Alexander Memorial Coliseum. Both men’s and women’s teams will also play more road games than usual, meaning higher travel costs.
The budget, though, has an apparent leak in it, as football season ticket sales are slower than expected, despite the strong odd-year schedule. As of last week, Tech had sold about 22,300 season tickets. The association has budgeted for 25,000 season tickets. There’s typically a push in July and August, but the AA has got some ground to make up.
With some of the new ESPN money, Tech will put some more money into advertising in hopes of boosting sales.
The ‘11 fiscal year, which closes at the end of the month, will be about $700,000 in the hole. A shortfall in ticket sales, both football and basketball, as well as the Hewitt firing, accounted for the deficit. However, the cash balance remained at about $4.8 million because of improved performance by the Georgia Tech foundation, which holds the AA’s money.
I’d think the new ESPN contract, which will be about $3.5 million more than what the ACC distribution has been in the past, should keep Tech’s budget above water in the future.
The renovation of AMC is well underway. The inside of the building, AD Dan Radakovich said, has been razed and is just dirt floor right now. Radakovich mentioned a few other building projects. The football players lounge is being converted into a 140-person auditorium. It is expected to be ready to use in late August. The players lounge will go into the space where the existing team meeting room is. The lead donation came from the Zelnak family, which also provided the major gift for the basketball practice facility.
The association is considering converting the golf practice facility on 14th Street from a range-type area to a nine-hole par-3 course. Radakovich said the impetus is a desire to give players more competitive opportunities. After three rounds of stroke play, the NCAA championship is ultimately decided by match play, where Tech has faltered despite typically having one of the strongest and deepest teams in the field. Fund-raising still has to be done.
Final design options are being looked at for a renovated tennis facility. Additional fund-raising needs to be done for that project also. Ken and Trish Byers gave the lead gift for that project.
The Brock Indoor Football Facility is scheduled to open in late July, in time for the start of practice in August. A board member repeated concern from faculty about the glare of the building’s roof into the nearby Ford Building. The roof is a light color for energy sustainability reasons. The solution might be tinted windows in the windows facing the facility.