Razorback Athletics is expected to make $6.6 million during men’s basketball season, university officials said.
The money earned during basketball season is nearly 7 percent of this year’s $97 million budget for all Razorback sports, said Byron Hatch, associate athletic director of business operations.
The men’s basketball team makes the majority of its money from ticket sales, which are expected to produce $6.4 million, Hatch said. The remaining $200,000 will come from concessions and merchandise sales, said Clayton Hamilton, senior associate athletic director of business operations.
However, that is not all the revenue the department is expected to earn, Hamilton said. Other sources of income include donations from the Razorback Foundation and television agreements with the Southeastern Conference. With those additional resources, the overall budgeted for men’s basketball is nearly $16 million.
In addition to concessions and ticket sales, the department also receives a commission from a third party that sells the concessions, Hamilton said. The commission is based on concession sales and is projected to be $155,000 this year, he said.
All sales, donations and sponsorships will be used to finance Razorback Athletics, Hamilton said.
“Revenue that comes in from ticket sales and concessions for basketball, goes back to funding basketball,” he said. “That’s salaries, that’s financial aid, that’s operating the arena. It’s facilities, it’s recruiting, it’s team travel. All of our revenue goes back to funding those types of expenses.”
When compared to the past few years, revenue has remained close to the same level, Hatch said. However, some years show a difference of up to $100,000.
“The fluctuation is mostly driven by the number of home men’s basketball games we have each year,” Hatch said.
The team usually plays 17 or 18 regular-season games, as well as two exhibition games, in Fayetteville each year, Hatch said.
Anything that helps the university make money, including men’s basketball, is a good thing, said Blake Palmer, a sophomore studying accounting. However, he said he was surprised that the budget remained steady over the years, instead of increasing.
The men’s basketball team made $6.8 million last year, Hatch said. That included concessions, ticket sales and merchandise sales for 17 home games and two exhibition games. The basketball team earned about $358,000 for each game last year.
This season will feature 18 home games and two exhibition games. To earn the projected $6.6 million, ticket sales and concessions should account for at least $330,000 each game.
“At the end of the day, it’s a reflection of ticket sales,” Hamilton said. “Our ticket sales have remained pretty consistent, both on a seasonal basis and on a single-game basis.”