Ohio State Football: Ohio State makes and spends big money

Ohio State has always been among the biggest programs in the country, and 2019 saw the Buckeyes become the biggest spenders in college football while sporting the third-highest revenue.

According to the College Finance Report by USA Today, Ohio State was among the biggest players in 2019.

The university reportedly made over 210 million dollars in revenue during the 2019 fiscal year while spending over 220 million dollars.

These numbers suggest Ohio State was sitting at a 10 million dollar deficit. However, Gene Smith has said:

“There’s no way I would be sitting here with 36 sports if we had a $10 million deficit. It just wouldn’t happen. I’d be dropping sports, and ticket prices would go up.”

Ohio State administrators have said:

“[T]he 2019 deficit sat at only $624,359, with $210.3 million in total revenue and $210.9 million in expenses.”

A big area of spending increase for Ohio State in 2019 was in “Facilities/Overhead” going from 46 million to 54 million. Given the addition of Jennings Wrestling Facility and the Covelli Center it should not come as too big of a surprise the expenses increased.

What may be surprising is that despite an undefeated regular season and Big Ten Championship, Ohio State ticket sales fell almost 10 million dollars from 2018.

Add in a basketball team that at one point was ranked number 2 in the country and it is hard to find a compelling reason that ticket revenues would drop so much, other than people enjoying the comfort of their own homes more and more. This will be an interesting trend to keep an eye on once attendance is back to full capacity again.

Ohio State had the third-highest revenue behind Texas and Texas A&M. The Buckeyes had the highest expenses in the country with Texas and Michigan behind them. Ohio State and Alabama were the only schools in the top 10 of revenue who reported having losses in 2019.

Next: Could Ohio State open the season with Michigan?

The Big Ten had a good representation with 8 teams joining in the Buckeyes in the top 25 school revenues. This was the second-highest amount for any conference, trailing only the SEC who had 10 teams in the top 25.


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