The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local Sports

April 11, 2013

Fewer seating fees blamed for PSU financial losses

STATE COLLEGE — About 90 percent of the $7.8 million decline in revenue for Penn State’s athletic department was due to a loss of one-time fees related to football club seat and suite renewals that were not budgeted for in 2012.

The department Thursday released a statement offering explanations on the financial report released earlier this week. The report showed athletics revenue at nearly $108.3 million for the fiscal year that ended in June 2012, down almost 7 percent or $7.8 million, from the $116.1 million in revenues the previous year.

Penn State in 2010-11 rolled out new season-ticket pricing guidelines that in large part tied giving levels to seat renewals.

The updated figures are part of a filing required by the U.S. Department of Education of athletic departments. As is typical for Penn State, the athletic department reported no revenues from tuition, student fees or state appropriations.

It was the first such filing by Penn State following the child sex abuse scandal involving former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, who was arrested in November 2011. The filing had been delayed because the school brought in a third-party auditor to also review the report, a university spokeswoman said earlier this week.

The athletic department noted Thursday that a decrease in reserve funds was primarily due to charitable donations in support of child sex abuse education and prevention, as well severance agreements for the previous football staff.

Bill O’Brien took over as coach in January 2012, two months after predecessor Joe Paterno was fired days following Sandusky’s arrest. The latest report showed about $956,000 in severance payments in 2012 for football.

Athletic department officials have said it was unclear how much – if any – impact the scandal may have had on attendance. But the “Seat Transfer and Equity Plan” that brought about season-ticket changes several years ago did leave some fans unhappy.

The roughly 60 luxury box suites at the stadium did sell out last year, as did the 21,000-seat student section. Still, Penn State, with an average attendance of about 96,700, was at about 91-percent capacity in 2012, down from the usual

97-98 percent.

Last year’s average would be a welcome and robust figure for most other schools. But those nearly 10,000 empty seats leave noticeable gaps in massive Beaver Stadium, which has a capacity of 106,572. It’s second only to the 109,901 capacity of Michigan Stadium.

“Approximately 90 percent of the documented overall revenue decrease of $7.8 million is attributable to club seat and suite renewal revenue collected in the 2010-11 fiscal year,” the athletic department said in its statement. “As one-time, upfront payments associated with those renewals in 2010-11, that revenue was not realized – or budgeted – for 2011-12.”

Contributions were down to athletics overall from $34.2 million to $25.5 million, the report showed, though football-related contributions grew nearly five-fold during to nearly $9.7 million in 2012.

According to the school, that was due to a reallocation of how suite and club seat revenues were categorized and recorded, so that it was more accurately reflected as football donation revenue.

The athletic department is self-supporting, and football revenue primarily helps pay for the school’s 31 varsity teams.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local Sports
  • racin 0416 Jennerstown Speedway gearing for May open

    Jennerstown Speedway released a very ambitious schedule on its website and continues to prepare for its 2014 reopening.
    The track is set to hold a practice day for drivers as well as an open house and media day on April 26.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • ‘Hawks already building toward next season

    Jason Spence used up his cell phone’s battery on a trip from Johnstown to his parents’ home in Nova Scotia, Canada.
    Once the Johnstown Tomahawks coach got to his destination, Spence had to get creative to secure cell service across the border.

    April 16, 2014

  • Pirates 0416 Dominant Cueto drops Pirates in matinee

    That playoff loss in Pittsburgh last year? Johnny Cueto never thought about it much. So getting a chance to shut out the Pirates in a rematch wasn’t any more special.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Penguins 0416 Penguins rally to wear out Jackets

    Brandon Sutter scored on a wrist shot from the left circle 8:18 into the third period, helping the Pittsburgh Penguins rally for a 4-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals on Wednesday night.
    Beau Bennett and Matt Niskanen scored power-play goals 45 seconds apart in the second period, erasing Pittsburgh’s two-goal deficit.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Shelley and McElligot Series serves as reunion for former Chiefs personnel

    Not so long ago, Bob McElligott, like most Western Pennsylvania hockey fans, would savor a long Pittsburgh Penguins playoff run.
    The Somerset native followed the Pens’ Stanley Cup-winning teams in 1991 and 1992.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Malkin nearing return

    The Columbus Blue Jackets are the closest NHL team to the Pittsburgh Penguins, at least geographically. The two franchises are separated by 185 miles of highway.

    April 15, 2014

  • Reds swing way past Pirates

    Mike Leake doubled and hit a two-run homer Tuesday night, ending Gerrit Cole's winning streak and leading the Cincinnati Reds to a 7-5 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates that completed two days full of homers and delays.
    First, the NL Central rivals completed a game that was suspended in the sixth inning because of rain the previous night.

    April 15, 2014

  • Pitt ends its spring practices

    No tailgating.
    No trip to a local high school.

    April 15, 2014

  • Pirates Game 1 0415 Pirates edge out Reds in suspended game

    After all those home runs and an overnight delay, it was settled by a single.
    Andrew McCutchen doubled and came around on Russell Martin’s single in the seventh inning on Tuesday, giving the Pittsburgh Pirates an 8-7 victory over the Cincinnati Reds in the completion of a game that spanned two days and 10 home runs.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • track_B1 WestPAC relays go to Windber boys, Berlin girls

    Rain showers and dropping temperatures put a damper on Monday’s WestPAC Relays at Berlin Brothersvalley High School.
    For the Berlin girls and the boys from Windber, however, discomfort was not much of a factor.
    The Mountaineers won their third straight relay title while the Ramblers reclaimed the title from defending champ Shade.

    April 14, 2014 2 Photos

AP Video
Poll

Do you think that Jack Williams will get the 270 signatures from city residents needed in order to have a referendum placed on a municipal ballot to have the city's pressure test mandate repealed?

Yes
No
I'm not sure
     View Results
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide