Ohio State athletic department enjoys record-setting revenue year

Credit: Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images

Credit: Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images

Not surprisingly, Ohio State athletics had a much better 2022 fiscal year than ‘21.

The department also blew away revenues from 2020 and 2019 in the first full year back from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here are five things to know from the latest financial report from the athletics department, which was released this week and covers the period of July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022:

1. Ohio State enjoyed its largest revenue ever.

The school brought in $251.6 million, an increase of almost $18 million over the 2020 fiscal year, which took place mostly before before the pandemic began.

In 2019, the last fully non-pandemic year, Ohio State reported making $210.5 million.

In the 2021 fiscal year, which included a truncated football season played in nearly empty stadiums, Ohio State reported revenue of $106.8 million.

2. The biggest jump of course came from ticket revenue.

Ohio State made $59.6 million off ticket sales, including $47.6 million from football and almost $5.2 million from men’s basketball.

That was an increase of more than 800,000 percent from the $7,386 reported ticket revenue for 2021 but down more than $6 million from 2020.

Revenue from media rights was $48.9 million, up more than $2 million from 2020 and an increase of more than $8 million from 2021 when payouts from television partners were reduced because of a drop in games to broadcast.

3. Contributions were also a major source of revenue increase.

The school reported getting nearly $63 million in donations and other contributions, tripling the amount brought in last year but also continuing a trend from before the pandemic.

In the 2020 fiscal year, Ohio State reported $48 million in donations, and that was an increase of more than $19 million from 2019.

According to the school, some of the increase last year can be attributed to a new system for connection donations to buying football tickets.

“Buckeye Nation continues to show their tremendous support for our incredible student-athletes, our coaches and our support staff,” Ohio State director of athletics Gene Smith said in a news release. “We are grateful for the enthusiasm they bring to our stadiums, fields and pools.”

4. Spending was more than $10 million more than 2020 and more than $5 million more than 2019.

Ohio State reported spending $225.7 million last year, up from $170.5 million in 2021 and $215.2 million in 2020.

While spending in most areas returned to close to normal, coach salaries accounted for more than half of the overall increase.

After putting $36.3 million toward salaries and compensation in 2021 (roughly the same as 2020), Ohio State reported coaches getting $42.2 million last year.

Ohio State also continued to increase spending on athlete meals — $8 million last year compared to $5.59 million in 2021 and $4.15 million in 2020 — and the trip to the Rose Bowl ($6 million) actually cost more than trips to the Sugar Bowl and National Championship Game combined ($3.2 million) in the previous season.

5. The costs and spending all add up to an overall profit of more than $25 million.

Getting back to normal was good for the athletics department’s bottom line. The previous year saw a loss of $63.6 million as major drops in revenue were offset only slightly by budget cuts.

In the 2020 fiscal year, Ohio State reported a profit of $18.6 million.

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