Thanks to football, the University of Florida’s powerful economic engine, the University Athletic Association has posted another successful year financially, producing an operational revenue of $17.9 million for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2019.
That’s almost six million more than a year ago, when the UAA’s operational surplus was $12,039,389.
This year’s $17.9 million profit ranks third among SEC schools, behind Texas A&M ($43.7 million) and Georgia ($30.7 million). UF produced $159.7 million in total operational revenue (fourth most in the SEC and ninth most in the nation) and had $141.8 million in expenses, which ranks seventh in the SEC and 16th in the nation. USA TODAY compiled the financial data in partnership with Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. USA TODAY published the annual database on Thursday.
As it always does, the football program led the way for UF’s 21 sports teams in 2018-19, producing a profit of $47,950,819. The program had a total operational revenue of $87,450,485 to go along with expenses of $39,499,666.
The figures are in UF’s annual financial report that was recently sent to the SEC Office. USA Today acquired a copy of the report.
Men’s basketball was the only other UF program to make a profit, bringing in $2,455,291 in 2019. UF’s 19 other programs, which traditionally generate limited or no revenue, finished the year $33,528,175 in the red.
Football’s largest revenues were generated by contributions from fans and boosters ($32,418,131), ticket sales ($26,106,819), media rights ($12,696,33), the SEC bowl distribution ($8,498,033) and bowl revenue ($2,696,050).
The program’s biggest expenses were for coaches’ salaries ($12,050,286), game expenses ($5,446,663), team travel ($1,950,668) and bowl expenses ($1,760,352).
Men’s basketball, the only other program to show a profit, had a total operational revenue of $12,172,678 and expenses of $9,717,387 for a total in the black of $2,455,291.
Basketball’s biggest revenues came through media rights ($3,461,383), contributions ($2,825,945) and ticket sales ($2,400,413). The biggest expenses were for coaches’ salaries ($3,595,047), team travel ($1,274,007) and athletic facilities debt service, leases and rental fee ($1,090,611).
The overall operational revenue for UF’s 21 programs was $159,706,937, with expenses of $141,829. The expenses are more than $7 million less than last year’s.
In 2017, the overall athletic program had a profit of $17,375,976, with football generating a profit of $43,726,034. In 2016, the UAA’s overall profit was $20,133,9936, with football generating a profit of $47,803,655.
Total operating revenue
Here’s a look at how SEC schools ranked in total operating revenue for the 2018-19 fiscal year. Schools are listed with their national rank in parentheses.
Texas A&M (2): $212.7M
Georgia (5): $174M
Alabama* (7): $164M
Florida (9): $159.7M
LSU (10): $157.8M
Auburn (13): $152.5M
Kentucky (15): $150.4M
Tennessee (16): $143.8M
South Carolina (17): $140.7M
Arkansas (20): $137.5M
Mississippi State (30): $112.3M
Mississippi (34): $108.4M
Missouri (37): $106.6M
Total operating expenses
Here’s a look at how SEC schools ranked in total operating expenses for the 2018-19 fiscal year. Schools are listed with their national rank in parentheses.
Alabama (4): $185.3M
Texas A&M (5): $169M
LSU (11): $149M
Kentucky (13): $144.9M
Georgia (14): $143.3M
Tennessee (15): $143M
Florida (16): $141.8M
Auburn (17): $139.3M
South Carolina (18): $136.9M
Arkansas (22): $129.6M
Mississippi (30): $113M
Missouri (35): $108.4M
Mississippi State (40): $98.8M
Operating surplus (or deficit)
Texas A&M: $43.7M
Mississippi State: $13.4M
South Carolina: $3.8M
Tennessee: $ 789,730
* Alabama’s reported operating deficit for the 2019 fiscal year is the result of large, one-time accounting anomaly, according to the school. Because of changes in federal tax law, the university’s auditors advised the athletic department to change the year in which it records revenue from priority-seating rights payments; this meant $24.5 million in revenue was deferred to the 2020 fiscal year.
+ Vanderbilt, the SEC’s only private school, is not included in report.
USA TODAY’s Steve Berkowitz and Blake Toppmeyer of the Knoxville News Sentinel contributed to this story.