© 2022 Michigan State University Board of Trustees
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

MSU athletic department runs $15.4 million deficit

Spartan Stadium
Skyler Ashley
Fans were not admitted to football games at Spartan Stadium during the 2020 season.

The Michigan State University athletic department ran a deficit of $15.4 million dollars in its most recent fiscal year.

The pandemic has had a dramatic impact on university sports revenues. This is the second year in a row that MSU athletics has operated at a deficit. USA Today and the Detroit Free Press report that the shortfall the year before was almost $18 million dollars.

With fans barred from attending games, ticket revenues were shy of a quarter-million dollars, down more than $22 million dollars from the 2019-20 season. Another blow was the cancellation of the NCAA basketball tournament. The Spartans also missed out on football bowl game revenues that season.

MSU had cut expenses for the year by $43.5 million, including the elimination of the men’s and women’s swimming and diving program.

Meanwhile, the shortfall at the University of Michigan athletic department was $47.6 million dollars last year, down from a deficit of $80 million the year before.

Scott Pohl is a general assignment news reporter and produces news features and interviews. He is also an alternate local host on NPR's "Morning Edition."
Between now and Giving Tuesday, support the fact-based journalism you value with a financial contribution. Your investment keeps independent reporting available throughout mid-Michigan & beyond. Donate now to do your part to fund more local and national stories. Thank you!