UA AD Dave Heeke estimating $60-65 million in losses with football on hold
Football generates more revenue than any other collegiate sport.
So with the Pac-12 deciding to delay the fall schedule until at least the spring over concerns with the coronavirus pandemic, programs are more than likely going to take a hit instead of reaping the rewards this time of year.
No one’s immune to the potential losses institutions face without football in the fall, or potentially at all, including the Arizona Wildcats.
“Without football, we’re estimating, again these are very ballpark numbers, it’s such a fluid situation,” Arizona AD Dave Heeke said Friday over a Zoom call with reporters.
“You don’t know how much revenues will truly be realized if we have a season in the spring or not. But without football, we’re looking at a $60-65 million impact, revenue loss, for our athletic department.”
According to the Department of Education, the Wildcats football program brought in $43,272,457 last season. Men’s ($22.4) and women’s ($1.05) basketball attributed to close to $23.5 million, while the rest of the school’s sports combined for around $8.1 million.
The school wants to build a model that’s appropriate for its student athletes before diving back into sports — even at the expense of the lost revenue — but Heeke said the potential losses from football could offset with a possible spring season.
There’s support and interest in the spring from both television partners and marketing partners to continue, Heeke added, noting that revenue from TV packages not only helps football, but the entire athletics operation.
Because the Pac-12’s postponement runs through Jan. 1, 2021, men’s basketball will also be impacted.
The Pac-12′s football season was previously scheduled to start Sept. 26.
The decision was made after presidents and school athletic directors spoke Monday about advice from Pac-12 doctors who expressed concern over coronavirus’ impact on the health of even college-aged athletes, reported Pete Thamel and The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman.
Specifically, the doctors raised awareness about the potential for the virus to cause myocarditis.
Myocarditis is inflammation of the heart and it has been found in some COVID-19 patients. There is concern it could be a long-term complication of contracting the virus even in young, healthy people, a group that has usually avoided severe cardiovascular symptoms.
According to Heeke, there have been no reported cases of myocarditis that he knows of.