U of L scores big in financial arena

December 21, 2011 by  

When it comes to putting up dollar signs on the scoreboard, college sports at the University of Louisville is a clear winner.

In a recent report of financial results for the fiscal year ending June 2011, the U.S. Department of Education listed the U of L as generating $87.74 million in revenue from its athletic program, exceeding figures for the first time from the University of Kentucky’s college sports program.

This ranks U of L as 16th in the NCAA’s highest division, which includes the largest post-secondary schools in America.

The report also showed that men’s basketball brought in $40.89 million, surpassing many football programs in Division I of the NCAA, even outperforming Duke University, the school’s closest competitor.

Huge new sponsorship opportunities from two national fast food chains, which helped pay for stadium expansion, are cited as reasons why new facilities and high end box seats can boost earning potential.

“I think the basketball arena has exceeded everything we expected from it,” U of L athletic director Tom Jurich said: “The response of our fan base has been tremendous.”

Increased fan base has seen resulted in an uptake in sign and banner printing at Louisville area printing companies, with U of L basketball fans anxious to display school colours at home games.

Coach Jurich, who has been in Louisville for the past 15 years, said he is delighted with the financial progress the college has made. When he took over, the school’s budget for athletics, not just basketball, but all sports, was just shy of $17 million.