Michigan's Big Ten payout expected to increase to $56 million, Warde Manuel says

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News
Warde Manuel

Ann Arbor – Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel projects an operating surplus of $1 million for his department for the 2019 fiscal year, which concludes at the end of this month.

For fiscal year 2020, which begins July 1, Manuel projects operating revenues of $196.3 million and expenses of the same amount.

Manuel made his budget presentation Thursday at the Michigan Regents meeting.

“We said $2.5 million surplus last year, we came in at $1 million and that’s mainly because we added some more to deferred maintenance to make sure we can take care of our facilities,” Manuel told the Regents.

“The budget for this upcoming year, you’ll see our projected budget, revenues of $196 (million) and operating expenditures of $196, as well. We increased the spectator admissions, and that will bring in $3.1 million, but that was only in non-student tickets. We did not do seat contributions this year at all. Big Ten revenues will increase. Team and game expenses will increase."

Manuel told The Detroit News on Thursday that Michigan is expected to receive $56 million in Big Ten conference disbursements. That’s an increase from $52.1 million last year, and a significant increase from $36.3 million in 2017. The increased funding from the Big Ten is in large part because of the move to multiple television partners in a deal with ESPN/ABC and Fox.

The $1 million surplus is based on operating revenues of $190.7 million and operating expenses of $189.7 million for fiscal year 2019. 

Manuel told the Regents the Football Performance Center is at “substantial completion” and said future projects will include a renovation expansion of Canham Natatorium, among other projects. At some point in the next year or two, Manuel said, the department will have to replace the Michigan Stadium scoreboards.

Here are highlights of the fiscal year 2020 operating budget:

►Spectator admissions revenues are projected to increase $3.1 million between FY ’19 and FY ’20 primarily as a result of an increase in non-student football ticket prices.

►Salaries, wages and benefits are projected to increase $2.9 million between FY ’19 and FY ’20 due to inflationary salary increases and contractual obligations.

►Included in operating expenses is a $4 million transfer to the deferred maintenance fund. This fund is used to provide for major repair and rehabilitation projects for athletic facilities.