NCAA awards $194,000 to athletics department

The department had budgeted for $450,000 last year.

The NCAA recently awarded the University of MinnesotaâÄôs athletics department an honorarium of $194,000 for hosting first and second rounds of the Division I menâÄôs basketball tournament at the Metrodome in March. This figure, combined with the $38,000 the University received from suites, is more than $200,000 less than the amount for which the department budgeted. The NCAA generally gives the host site up to 10 percent of ticket revenue, depending on how well the event was hosted. The University received the full 10 percent âÄï or $194,000 âÄï of the $1.94 million in ticket revenue, Associate Athletics Director Marc Ryan said. Senior Associate Athletics Director Liz Eull said the department had originally budgeted for $450,000 for the honorarium and revenue from the sale of suites, but the Metrodome only filled about halfway to capacity for each of the three two-game sessions. Eull said the budgeted amount was determined a year ago before the economy worsened, and she thinks that also played a role in the lower-than-predicted ticket sales. However, Eull said the honorarium is just one of many different revenue streams the athletics department has, so there were others that made up for the difference. Ryan said other revenue streams for the athletics departmentâÄôs $70 million budget include ticket sales, NCAA and Big Ten distributions âÄï like football bowl game money âÄï and TV and radio revenues from the Big Ten Network and deals with ABC and ESPN. Eull said thereâÄôs a long period âÄï in this case, about three months âÄï between the event and the honorarium because the revenue and expenses have to first be calculated to determine net proceeds, then those numbers are submitted to the NCAA for review. âÄúThe NCAA basically decides how well you hosted the event, and the University of Minnesota has had a tradition of hosting events extremely well,âÄù Eull said. âÄúSince IâÄôve been part of Gopher athletics, I donâÄôt recall a situation where we got anything less than the 10 percent.âÄù New this year was the NCAAâÄôs $200,000 maximum award for hosting off-campus and $300,000 for on-campus. NCAA Managing Director of the Division I Men’s Basketball Championship Jeanne Boyd said the maximums are a new executive NCAA bylaw for hosting institutions. She said with the addition of a new fee from online ticket sales, the University was around the maximum $200,000, but Ryan said the cap wasnâÄôt a factor. The amount for hosting on-campus is more because the host pays for operating costs, so the award ends up the same. âÄúThe $200,000 and $300,000 cap doesnâÄôt have anything to do with performance,âÄù Boyd said. âÄúThe University of Minnesota meets every single performance standard that weâÄôve set forth.âÄù NCAA Associate Director for Division I Men’s Basketball Championship David Worlock said most sites received the maximum honorarium. âÄúSomething significant has to happen for a host not to get the 10 percent and the full honorarium,âÄù Worlock said. Ryan said the department budgeted for $450,000 before the new maximum was established. They had predicted a larger award because they hoped more tickets would be sold, as with past regionals. About 16,300 tickets were sold for the first session on March 20 when West Virginia played Dayton and Kansas played North Dakota State, about 12,700 for the second when Boston College played the University of Southern California and Michigan State played Robert Morris and about 13,900 for March 22 âÄï Dayton against Kansas and USC against Michigan State âÄï for a total of about 42,900. âÄúIt goes without saying we were hoping for more teams with local, regional interest to help drive ticket sales,âÄù Ryan said. âÄúAt the end of the day, we had eight great teams and it was a great atmosphere. As a host, you make the most of it.âÄù