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October 07, 2004

UW Huskies Football Is 0-4, Revenues Impacted Negatively

FROM THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST comes the latest instance of a D1 athletics program confronted with the unseemly prospect of red ink due to an underperforming football program.

None other than the (formerly) venerable—27 straight non-losing seasons and counting—University of Washington Huskies football program is struggling through an especially bleak season, and the ramifications could well affect the entire athletics program. Two-thirds of UW’s $39.3 million budget comes from the football team.

Off to a miserable 0-4 start, UW faces the unseemly prospect of fewer TV games (each TV game brings in $200,000 of supplemental revenue). In addition, season ticket sales are down (by $1 million), attendance is down, and licensed product sales are down.

The grim fiscal circumstances were precipitated by a 2% across the board budget cut last year, partly caused by legal costs related to Rick Neuheisel’s lawsuit. There appears to be no more room for cuts without reducing the mix of sports.

Lest anyone think that everything is going bad for UW, they should take solace in the fact that they have the best there is in Todd Turner as Athletic Director.

However, as good as he is, Mr. Turner is not a miracle worker, and the situation may yet worsen before it gets better.

Go Huskies!

More later . . . .


Year (TV appearances) … average attendance

2004* (4) … 65,290
2003 (7) … 71,906
2002 (7) … 71,435
2001 (9) … 72,469
2000 (10) … 71,638
1999 (11) … 71,790
1998 (10) … 71,356
1997 (9) … 73,589
1996 (10) … 71,269


(this 216 word excerpt—with associated commentary—was gleaned from a 1224 word article in the Seattle Times of 10-6-04)