A new report has come out on the revenue and expenses of 232 NCAA athletic programs.
According to a report by USA Today, UCLA ranks in the top 50 nationally in total revenue.
The UCLA athletic department took in $103,061,344 in total revenue. However, they spent $131,106,913 in total expenses. If you do the math, that is $28,045,569 in the red financially. Hence, why going to the Big Ten conference makes complete sense financially. The revenue and expenses of the UCLA athletic department have varied over the years.
According to the USA Today individual financial report here are the past few years with the exception of 2021, of the revenue and expenses of the UCLA athletic department.
Year Revenue Expenses +/-
2022 $103,061,344 $131,106,913 -$28,045,569
2020 $97,674,553 $119,391,431 -$21,716,878
2019 $108,412,967 $127,339,042 -$18.926,075
2018 $130,960,560 $130,960,560 0
UCLA’s athletic department has been in the red for the past three years. There are a number of factors that have contributed to UCLA’s financial problems.
One factor is that the department receives very little support from the university. In 2022, the department received just $60,000 in direct institutional support. This is significantly less than the support that other Pac-12 schools receive. For example, California, which is UCLA’s main rival, cut a $20.1 million check for athletics in 2022.
Another factor that has contributed to UCLA’s financial problems is the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has led to a decrease in ticket sales, concessions, and merchandise revenue as is shown in the USA Today data/resource information piece. The pandemic had also led to an increase in expenses, such as travel costs and testing for COVID-19.
The last factor may be the lost revenue from Under Armour terminating its deal with UCLA in June 2020. The initial deal was for 15 years for 280 million and it started in July 2017. However, after UCLA filed a lawsuit against the company, Under Armour agreed to pay UCLA $67.491 million. UCLA then took a far less financially beneficial contract in June 2020 with Nike and Jordan Brand for six years for $46.45 million.
UCLA has taken some steps to address its financial problems. The department has cut costs by reducing staff and travel expenses. The department has also raised revenue by increasing ticket prices and by selling more merchandise. However, these measures have not been enough to close the department’s budget gap.
UCLA was going to face a number of challenges in the years to come. The department will need to find ways to increase revenue and reduce costs, but the agreement to join the Big Ten conference in July of 2024 should significantly help the UCLA athletic department in the near future.
The department will always need to find ways to improve its financial management but the new media rights deal with the Big Ten will help the athletic department with financial decisions moving forward. If UCLA did not join the Big Ten as some had wanted them to stay in the Pac-12, it would have to address its financial problems, and the department would have had to face a number of negative consequences, such as the loss of scholarships, the elimination of sports programs, and the inability to compete at a high level.