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Week of June 24, 2013

Michigan Athletics continues its growth and investment strategy

The Athletic Department will continue to invest in facilities during the coming year, through a $146.4 million budget for the 2014 fiscal year. The budget was presented to the U-M Board of Regents June 20.

Athletic Director Dave Brandon projects an operating surplus of $8.9 million based on operating revenues of $146.4 million and operating expenses of $137.5 million.

“We will invest our operating surpluses and the gifts we receive from our generous donors in the continued maintenance and improvement of our existing facilities,” said Brandon, the Donald R. Shepherd Director of Athletics. “We also plan to build several new facilities in support of many of our Olympic sports. We believe that no sport should be left behind and all of our student-athletes and coaches deserve practice and competition facilities that are truly the leaders and best.

“There are increasing expenses associated with our growing athletic program and our objective is to do everything possible to fully support the health, welfare and competitive opportunities of the 900-plus student-athletes associated with our 31 teams,” Brandon said. “We look forward to welcoming women’s lacrosse as our newest varsity team this academic year.”

Following are highlights of the 2013-14 operating budget:

• The budget reflects a seven-game home schedule for football compared to six home games in FY 2013.

• The rental fee for the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic is included in facility revenues. The NHL is renting Michigan Stadium on Jan. 1, 2014, for $3.1 million. Athletics will incur $600,000 in expenses associated with hosting the game.

• Budgeted preferred seat donations and other expendable gifts increased to $32.3 million from $27.4 million in FY 2013. Premium seating areas are sold out in Michigan Stadium and Crisler Center. There are still premium opportunities available at Yost Ice Arena.

• Budgeted salaries, wages and benefits, financial aid, and team and game expenses reflect the addition of women’s lacrosse. The program will begin varsity competition in FY 2014.

The department will make a $4.75 million transfer to a deferred-maintenance fund, compared with $4.5 million in FY 2013. The deferred-maintenance fund is used as a means to provide for major repair and rehabilitation projects for athletic facilities. The Athletic Department expects to set aside additional funds in future years for this purpose.

In addition, Brandon reported that preliminary projections have U-M Athletics reporting a $10.2 million surplus for FY 2013, which is $4.4 million higher than budgeted. The surplus will be used to assist in funding the Schembechler Hall and field hockey renovation projects.

“The favorable operating outcome is a direct result of higher-than-expected preferred seat donations, conference distributions and men’s basketball admissions,” Brandon said. “We sold out 15 of the 18 home men’s basketball games and our fans have shown great interest in our premium seating opportunities at Michigan Stadium, Crisler Center and Yost Ice Arena.

“We appreciate the investment that our fans and donors have made in Michigan Athletics,” Brandon said. “Their commitment has helped our department make a major, positive impact on the student-athlete and fan experience for each of our sports programs, as well as our student-athletes’ overall performance in the classroom and competition.”

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