Washington Huskies

UW athletic department reports $863,136 budget deficit in 2014-15 fiscal year

The University of Washington athletic department generated more revenue than ever during the 2014-15 fiscal year.

But it spent even more.

According to USA Today’s updated database of college athletics finances, UW reported a deficit of $863,136 for the July 2014 through June 2015 fiscal year — a record-high $103,540,117 in revenues, and a record-high $104,403,253 in expenses.

USA Today’s records indicate that UW paid $22,095,937 in “facilities/overhead” costs, compared to a little more than $4 million in 2013-14. The school projected in 2013 that its annual debt service to fund the renovation of Husky Stadium with 30-year bonds would be roughly $14.3 million, which accounts for a significant portion of the increase. UW’s athletic department expenses totaled more than $86 million in 2013-14, when the school reported a budget surplus of a little more than $14 million.

Filling the new stadium is another issue, interim athletic director Jennifer Cohen said Wednesday. UW reported total ticket sales of nearly $28.5 million in 2013-14, but a little less than $24.8 million in 2014-15.

UW averaged 61,919 fans per home football game last season, down from 64,508 in 2014 and 68,769 in 2013, the year the new stadium opened. Improving attendance in 2016 is one of the department’s biggest priorities.

“Our gate is not where it needs to be in football,” Cohen said. “Our ability to fill this stadium is the single-most important thing we can do for all of our programs to be successful. So that is my job, 24/7, is to be thinking about that, focusing on that, and certainly if we could improve that situation over the course of the next couple years, our financial outlook will look different than it looks today.”

Huskies fine in APR

The NCAA on Wednesday released its most recent Academic Progress Rate (APR) data, and each of the University of Washington’s sports programs remain above the minimum needed to avoid penalty.

The UW football team ranks third among Pac-12 schools with a four-year average score of 974. The men’s basketball team, despite a poor single-year score of 893 for the 2014-15 academic year — four players transferred from the program during that year and one was dismissed, which likely accounts for the dip — still has a four-year average score of 971, which is good for fifth in the conference.

The contract of UW football coach Chris Petersen includes a guaranteed bonus of $125,000 if the Huskies maintain an APR score of 970 or better. If their score is 950 or better, he receives $50,000, and if the score is 960 or better, the bonus is $75,000.

Men’s basketball coach Lorenzo Romar receives a bonus of $10,000 if UW’s team APR is “equal to or greater than the most recently published national average for Division I men’s basketball teams,” per his contract. The average APR score for a Division I men’s basketball team is 964, according to the most recent data, so it appears Romar will earn that bonus.

EXTRA POINTS

Third-year sophomore right tackle Kaleb McGary, who has sat out of the last several spring practices while recovering from an apparent knee injury, suited up in pads on Wednesday and went through early position drills. The Fife native did not participate in any team sessions, however. … Sophomore cornerback Jordan Miller snagged his fifth interception of the spring on Wednesday. … UW’s final spring practice will be held 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Husky Stadium and broadcast live on Pac-12 Networks. It is also open to the public, and admission is free.

Christian Caple: 253-597-8437, @ChristianCaple

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