Mizzou closes gap in athletic revenue thanks to contributions from SEC

Missouri athletics “operated at a deficit” during FY ‘21 for the fifth straight year, but “severely closed the gap thanks to nearly across-the-board cost cutting and a lifeline" from the SEC, according to Dave Matter of the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH. MU's athletics revenues “increased slightly from the previous year” despite a “sharp but expected drop in ticket sales" due to limited seating capacities during the ‘20-21 academic year. MU’s ticket sales “declined by 78%” from the previous year, but the SEC’s contribution to offset financial losses allowed MU's annual revenues “to barely surpass the previous year’s levels.” Their revenues "remained stable, increasing by a fraction of a percentage point" from $110,189,122 in '20 to $110,458,144 in ‘21. MU's spending “fell considerably," from $119,082,669 in ‘20 to $113,915,145 in ‘21. FY ‘21 includes MU's ‘20 football season, the debut season of coach Eliah Drinkwitz, and the ‘20-21 basketball seasons. Former AD Jim Sterk “stepped down” in late July ‘21 and in August was replaced by current AD Desiree Reed-Francois. MU's revenues “dropped in every category, as expected,” during the first full fiscal year impacted by the pandemic. With Memorial Stadium and Mizzou Arena "limited to around 20% capacity" because of COVID protocols, ticket sales for the entire athletics department “fell from approximately" $16.1M in '20 to just $3.6M in '21. MU's portion of SEC distribution of football bowl revenue “dropped sharply” from $9.1M to $4.6M, but that “was by design" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 1/19).

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