It’s only money.

Way to go, Auburn!

A year after reporting record revenue and a $17.9 million profit margin, Auburn’s athletics department saw its revenue decrease by $30 million year over year and operated at a $9.7 million loss, according to a copy of the university’s annual NCAA financial report obtained by AL.com through a public records request. It’s the first time in seven years that Auburn athletics has operated at a loss.

You probably won’t be surprised why.

… After reporting $33,820,864 in ticket revenue during the 2019-20 fiscal year, that number plummeted to just $3.7 million during the 2020-21 fiscal year, according to the document. Auburn reported just $3.2 million in football ticket sales, which was down from $31 million the prior year, and just $180,757 in men’s basketball ticket sales, which was down from $2.1 million the year before.

The loss of ticket revenue from the university’s two most profitable sports, paired with a significant jump in severance payments due to former coaches and administrators, played into the athletics department operating at a loss for the first time in seven years. Auburn reported just $734,877 in severance payments due to former coaches during the 2019-20 fiscal year, but that number ballooned to $16.6 million during the most recent fiscal year. Of course, the bulk of that was due to the turnover within the football program, with Auburn doling out $16.08 million to former football coaches during the 2020-21 fiscal year following the firing of former coach Gus Malzahn and the majority of his staff.

In retrospect, maybe paying out millions in buyout money during a pandemic wasn’t the sharpest business decision.  But at least they got a better record out of it… oh, wait.  And if Harsin turns in a losing record this season?  Lather, rinse, repeat.  Boosters, to your checkbooks!

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UPDATE:  While over in Athens

Georgia athletics reported a surplus approaching $21 million for the fiscal year that ended last June in the first full academic year impacted by the pandemic and limited attendance.

The Georgia Athletic Association reported total revenues of $153,177,131 and total expenses of $132,555,972 for a difference of $20,621,159, according to a draft IRS Form 990 that was accepted by the athletic board’s finance committee on behalf of the full board in a meeting on Tuesday morning.

36 Comments

Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, It's Just Bidness

36 responses to “It’s only money.

  1. mg4life0331

    How in the hell do you sell more tickets during the initial Covid outbreak than this year?

    Like

    • stoopnagle

      2020-21 was the first Covid year. First cases were in late 2019, then shut downs started in March, 2020. I get it, it’s all blurred together at this point.

      Like

  2. Corch Irvin Meyers, Former Jags Corch (2021)

    The dumbest Admin and fanbase in the SEC. And when the SEC contains the dumbass hillbillies in Knoxville, that is saying something.

    That our former AD bent over backwards for these dummies over and over says something about that spineless POS, too.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. godawgs1701

    oh man, they are going to TURBO screw us on ticket prices when we have to go back down there in 2023.

    Like

    • Down Island Way

      Be thankful the previous UGA ad has moved on, he more than likely would have promoted the tigles schedule 4 straight years of home games vs UGA football…#AUBURN SUCKS!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Gotta think that the Tigers’ success in MBB is the only thing keeping that athletic director employed at this point.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. dawgtired7

    Be sure your sins will find you out. Couldn’t happen to a better program. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. 69Dawg

    And yet the AD is still gainfully employed to hire a coach from the ends of the earth to coach in the SEC. The next buy out is coming shortly unless the boosters can NIL them back to greatness.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. theotherdoug

    and they will probably be paying Harsin’s buyout after the 2022 season.

    Like

  8. whb209

    At what point does every ticket buyer just say NO?

    Like

    • CB

      Not sure, but that will be the point when the prices drop.

      Like

      • Tony BarnFart

        I think that will be a while because it will have to trickle through the various universities offloading and market manipulation vis-a-vis Stubhub. Stubhub is probably a de facto large season ticket holder at many middling power 5 schools. So they’ll prop up demand for a while by buying up the supply at sweetheart deals made by the University, and the University can always claim “sold out” status.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. NotMyCrossToBear

    Man they are dumbasses.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. gobblinglawyer

    Man, that’s a shit load of YellaWood sales to fund all that.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. The Herbert College of Business at Auburn teaches every freshman in Econ101 the following course…

    Liked by 6 people

  12. practicaldawg

    Greg McGarity must be so proud of Josh Brooks

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Jimmy Sexton to Josh Brooks re: surplus. “I’ll take that!”

    Liked by 5 people

    • Harold Miller

      Damn straight. Especially when you have Brian Kelly who hasn’t won jack shit sitting at $9.5 million annually down in Red Stick. CKS and assistance are due quite an adjustment.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. classiccitycanine

    Any chance that surplus goes into improving some of our programs (see MBB) and renovating some stadiums (looking at you Sanford and Foley) or nah?

    Like

  15. Shannon McCullough

    Never trust accounting when you can’t see everything AND audit it:
    It appears Auburn’s figures do not include the $23M supplemental SEC COVID payment whereas Georgia’s does.

    If I were a season ticket holder who donated their usual 2020 costs (at least $14M) to help make ends meet through a desperate time, I would not be happy about seeing a $20M profit. Like lending a buddy $100 and watching him light a cigar with it.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. RangerRuss

    Phase 1-Collect underpants
    Phase 2-?
    Phase 3-Profit
    Auburn just ain’t figured out Phase 2 yet. Here’s a clue, dumbasses. Hire a better Head Coach.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Hogbody Spradlin

    $21 million huh? Don’t dare call it profit.

    Like

  18. Illini84

    Fuck Brice Pearl

    Liked by 1 person

  19. gotthepicture

    The other day my mom (a Bama grad) shared an article from a Bama site contrasting the state of Auburn and Bama and how they got there. It wasn’t Bleacher Report, but it was the same quality stuff- common sense, statements treated as facts without citation or actual details. In general, it was nothing new, but not the strongest representation of journalism.

    But it got me thinking… Auburn seems to be a booster driven program, which has led to some of their success and failures. Bama seems to be a coach driven program- yes, Saban has the support of his AD and others, but he seems to be driving the bus. I would say Georgia was an Admin driven program for years, but has given most of the reigns to Kirby. Now this is all opinion from what I’ve read and observed. However, it would be interesting to see something like Alston’s anonymous coaches dishing on coaches annual article, where coaches or ADs dish on other schools’ programs & how they are run.

    Or they could just get Jimmy Sexton to write a tell-all.

    Like

  20. uga97

    Waitill next year…dawgs bidness is booming. Think of all the uga natty logo’d stuff alone that folks are buying in droves right now, which will get injected into the revenues. Mmmm smell like money over Atown.

    Like