Florida athletics budgets record $100 million
by David Jones, USA TODAY Sports
GAINESVILLE — The University Athletic Association approved a $100.4 million budget for the 2013-14 school year on Wednesday, the highest in school history.
The UAA is the fundraising arm of the University of Florida athletic department. No state money is used in the budget.
The Gators have had budgets over $96 million in each of the previous three years but budgets nationally are on the rise. The Southeastern Conference schools are able to spend more because of huge television deals and continued demand, especially in football.
Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley said the budget will ensure the school will, “Continue to be successful, take care of our coaches, take care of our student athletes, take care of our employees and still provide a quality athletic program for this university and for Gator fans.”
Florida’s overall budget for the entire school and Shands is almost $4 billion for the upcoming school year.
Kentucky approved a $104.4 million budget on Tuesday — a $12.5 million increase. SEC schools Alabama, Florida, Texas A&M and LSU all had revenues of more than $114 million in 2012. Texas was the nation’s top revenue producer at $163 million with Ohio State No. 2 at $142 million. Florida finished fifth nationally at $120 million.
Among the goals in 2013-14 is a $50 million renovation of the O’Connell Center. The school is contributing only 20 percent of the cost with the other 80 percent coming from fundraising. Athletic director Jeremy Foley is optimistic that renovation could start next summer.
Several other projects are also planned.
Florida lost $854,000 largely because of unsold tickets at the Sugar Bowl loss to Louisville. The UAA plans to take $750,000 from reserves to make up for the lost revenue of only having six home football games in 2013.
Non-conference opponents Toledo (Aug. 31) and Georgia Southern (Nov. 23) are receiving guarantees of $800,000 and $550,000, respectively.