Utah athletics bounce back from COVID losses to report record revenue for FY22

The report confirms a major turnaround after a debt-laden fiscal 2021, which came during the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

(Rick Bowmer | AP) Fans gather in Rice-Eccles Stadium during the second half of an NCAA college football game between Southern Utah and Utah, Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022, in Salt Lake City.

The University of Utah athletic department reported record revenues during Fiscal Year 2022, as it bounced back from the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Utah showed revenue totaling a record $115.7 million for the fiscal year (July 1, 2021, through June 30, 2022), in its annual financial report provided to the NCAA. Utah’s previous all-time high for athletics revenue was the $99.5 million generated during FY2019.

The FY22 revenue figure more than doubled the $51,021,217 Utah reported for fiscal 2021, which included a pandemic-shortened 2020 football season and 2020-21 basketball seasons — all of which were played without fans allowed in any Pac-12 football stadiums and basketball arenas.

Without fans, Utah’s four biggest revenue sports lost out on tens of millions of dollars in ticket sales, which led to a $31 million deficit for the fiscal year. Utah athletic director Mark Harlan told to The Salt Lake Tribune in July that the deficit is being financed through central campus, and that it did not affect his department’s bottom line for fiscal 2022.

As is always the case, football revenue was the anchor for Utah’s athletic department, totaling $75.7 million, about 65% of all athletics-related revenue. Within that figure was $12,086,943 in ticket sales for a six-game home slate. All six games in 2021 at Rice-Eccles Stadium sold out with capacity-plus attendance figures beyond the 51,444 the building officially lists as its capacity.

One important thing to note is that while the pandemic-affected fiscal 2021 report listed just $7.9 million in athletics-wide donations, the fiscal 2022 document listed $28.5 million in donations.

Utah’s $115,719,266 in revenue came against $111,880,434, leaving the department with a surplus of over $3.8 million. That surplus number includes the fiscal 2022 report listing $6,141,558 in student fees and another $5,333,280 in direct institutional support.

As explained in a footnote within the report, “Direct Institutional Support includes facilities, general and administrative, and Title IX support. The department receives state funds in the form of tuition waivers: Title 53, special, and continuing scholarships. These waivers, totaling $3,309,975, are included as revenue under Direct Institutional Support and subsequently expensed under Student Aid.”

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