Gophers athletic department facing potential $75 million hit because of coronavirus

©Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

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MINNEAPOLIS — The Gophers athletic department could lose $75 million in revenue — about 50% of its annual budget — if the coronavirus pandemic stretches into the fall, according to estimates prepared for Tuesday’s Board of Regents meeting.

The Board based the estimates on potential losses from ticket revenue, NCAA tournament and TV distributions, contributions from boosters, etc.

In the Regents’ “best-case” scenario, which accounts for athletics cancellations through spring but resuming to normal in the summer, the athletics department could lose $10 million.

The “moderate” outlook, which assumes ramifications into the summer but normal activities in the fall, projects the Gophers could lose $30 million.

Here are the latest updates on sports cancellations and postponements, and when the games may begin again.

The “severe” scenario would occur when activities don’t return to normal until spring 2021. A $75 million hit in revenue would be down from the $130.5 million the athletic department reported for the 2018-19 school year, against $129.5 million in expenses.

In the entire University community, the only other categories projecting more losses in this worst case are tuition and fees, which projects to miss $85 million to $90 million, and University of Minnesota Physicians, which stands to lose $200 million from canceled or postponed procedures.

The athletic department is expected to present a detailed plan in May for how it will handle the expected revenue shortfall.


©2020 Star Tribune (Minneapolis)