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Georgia Tech athletics to post $2.1 million surplus

A year after posting a $2.9 million deficit, the Georgia Tech Athletic Association will come out $2.1 million ahead in its annual budget for the fiscal year that ends June 30.

However, associate athletic director Marvin Lewis, speaking at a GTAA board meeting last week, also offered a worst-case scenario of a $2.8 million deficit for fiscal year 2019 as revenues are expected to fall by about 5 percent compared with the 2018 budget.

For fiscal year 2018, Tech is to finish with $88.3 million in revenues, almost $4 million over the budget. The department earned $15 million in ticket sales -- $843,000 above the budgeted total – as better-than-expected premium-ticket sales and a successful strategy in the secondary market helped beat projections.

Tech also had unbudgeted revenue from the Dream, Atlanta United, Hawks and the NCAA. The Dream and Hawks used McCamish Pavilion as Philips Arena was renovated, the United rented Bobby Dodd Stadium as Mercedes-Benz Stadium was completed and the NCAA gave Tech an honorarium for hosting the NCAA basketball regional at Philips. Tech also raised $605,000 over the anticipated $1.55 million for the A-T Fund.

The surplus will return the department’s fund balance to $5.7 million, above the goal amount of $5 million.

For the coming year, not having Georgia on the football home schedule, playing only six home games and following a 5-6 season have lowered projections for ticket sales and TECH Fund revenues. Lewis said that not having Georgia on the home schedule can mean between $1 million and $1.5 million.

Ticket sales and TECH Fund revenues are projected to be $17.4 million, where it is expected to finish at $20.3 million for fiscal year 2018.

Tech will also take a financial hit in moving from Russell Athletic to Adidas as its apparel provider, as the department will receive $200,000 annually from Adidas compared with $950,000 from Russell.

There are also additional expenses for infrastructure and personnel with the planned August 2019 launch of the ACC Network.

The expected revenues for 2019 are $80.3 million, while expenses are $83.1 million, which actually is $3.1 million under the expected final expenses for fiscal year 2018. As has become customary, teams and departments have been put through a zero-based budgeting process to analyze each expense. Lewis said that he has challenged coaches and staffs “to be more efficient without impacting the student-athlete experience.”

There is an anticipation of budget surpluses beginning in fiscal year 2020 and beyond, in part because of the expected distributions from the ACC after the launch of the ACC Network.

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