KSA Achieves Balanced Budget for Seventh Straight Year

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Thanks to the generosity and hard work of its fans, donors, coaches and staff, K-State Athletics, Inc., produced a balanced budget in FY 2016 and achieved a surplus for the seventh consecutive year while also setting a new cash contributions record through the Ahearn Fund annual giving program, Athletics Director John Currie has announced.
 
In the midst of a transformational and challenging time for intercollegiate athletics, which includes many prominent schools across the country recently reporting annual operating deficits and ballooning debt, the collective spirit and support of nearly 250,000 K-State friends and alumni across the country and around the world has enabled the department to experience among the most successful seven-year periods in its history while completing $210 million in athletics facility upgrades in a fiscally responsible manner.
 
The department’s actual FY 2016 cash operating revenue of $77.5 million, which exceeding its budgeted goal of $70 million, reflects the commitment of the K-State nation through strong ticket sales and annual giving in addition to support from the Big 12 Conference. Though the annual audit is not yet complete, operating revenue is expected to exceed operating expense. This positive result, required by bond covenants, along with those of prior years, has helped the department aggressively invest back into all 430-plus Wildcat student-athletes through needed and strategic facility upgrades in a fiscally responsible manner.
 
Overall cash gifts to the department in FY 2016 totaled $28.3 million, of which a record $18.1 million was designated for the Ahearn Fund annual giving program which surpassed its budgeted goal by $1 million.  Since 2009, K-Staters have contributed more than $200 million in outright gifts, all of which has been directly invested toward K-State’s Vision of a Model Intercollegiate Athletics Program.  K-State Athletics remains one of just a few dozen universities nationwide, and the only institution in Kansas, to operate without use of state tax or university tuition dollars. Direct and indirect university support of athletics was 6.1 percent of the KSA budget in FY10. In FY16 it became zero.
 
“Kansas State University, a Tier 1 Carnegie Research institution located in the No. 1 College Town in America, is so fortunate to have passionate fans that truly care about the welfare of Wildcat student-athletes,” Currie said. “I appreciate Wildcat fans from all walks of life filling Bill Snyder Family Stadium, Bramlage Coliseum, Tointon Stadium, Ahearn Field House and Goss Tennis Stadium all year long and participating in the Ahearn Fund, and credit our 170 coaches and staff members for their careful fiscal stewardship of those dollars we are entrusted with each and every day.”
 
In an open letter to K-State fans posted earlier today, Currie also announced that the K-State Athletics, Inc., Board of Directors has approved the department’s FY17 budget of $72.7 million, a $2.6 million increase over the previous year’s budget and a $29 million increase from the 2010 budget of $44.1 million.  KSA's eighth annual budget card, a symbol of the department's commitment to financial transparency has been unveiled as well.
 
The department’s largest revenue sources will again be the combined ticket purchases and contributions from loyal fans and Ahearn Fund donors, targeted at $32.8 million and $31 million in projected Big 12/NCAA revenue shares.  While Big 12 revenues have nearly tripled since 2009, the grass-roots participation and dedication of Wildcat fans and donors remains the largest source of support for K-State student-athletes.
 
On the expense side, KSA will again increase its student-athlete support line (up $1.2 million from FY14), along with an increase of approximately $1.6 million in operating/recruiting costs and $800,000 in scholarship costs as the department enters into the second year of providing “full cost of attendance.”

"The past few years have seen incredible progress nationally in adding even more quality and value to the unique opportunity to study and compete at the highest intercollegiate level, and we believe that K-State is truly providing A World Class Student-Athlete Experience through not just these financial investments but also the care and attention of our faculty, staff and coaches and passionate support of Wildcats fans,” Currie added.

K-State's annual debt service payment actually will slightly decline this year both in dollar amount and percentage of budget, while the “Administration" line item for FY17 will be about $4.2 million.  K-State Athletics’ annual institutional support fee, which KSA pays to the University to help provide administrative support, will increase to $475,000 in FY17, while the department will transfer a total of approximately $7.5 million in tuition, fees, support and other payments to the University and affiliated units.

Currie also reports that K-State anticipates extending its current 27-game home football sellout streak with approximately 1,000 tickets remaining for each game, while volleyball season ticket sales are on track to set an all-time record and men’s basketball and women’s basketball orders are running ahead of last year’s pace.  This fall K-State Soccer will debut as the newest member of the Wildcat and Big 12 sports family as Coach Mike Dibbini's side will take to its brand new grass home pitch on September 16 hosting Northern Iowa.