The University of Arkansas announced an operating surplus in FY 2022
The GIST: The University of Arkansas is hitting it out of the business park. On Friday, the school’s athletics department announced an operating surplus of $8.19 million in FY 2022, outpacing its pre-pandemic totals. The revenue wins come courtesy of ticket sales, which saw huge gains across Arkansas' women’s sports teams.
The details: Last year’s surplus beats the $7.87 million Arkansas counted in FY 2019, and the school raked in $7.5 million more in ticket revenue in 2022 than in 2019. An impressive $630K of gate receipts came from women’s sporting events in the last fiscal year, compared to $260K three years earlier.
- Arkansas’ women’s hoops team lead the way with $256K in ticket sales, a number on pace with recent figures — Power Five schools averaged around $300K in women’s basketball ticket revenue in FY 2020.
- Softball ranked second in ticket sales for Arkansas’ women’s sports teams but saw the most revenue growth from 2019 to 2022 as sales went from $8K to $147K, an increase of 1741.8%. Yes, you read that right.
The context: As women’s softball surges in popularity across the country, the Razorbacks also benefited from two stellar seasons — they won the SEC regular-season title in 2021 and 2022 and hosted NCAA regional and super-regional games. Nine of the team’s all-time top 10 attendance figures are from 2022, with six coming from last year’s NCAA championship.
Zooming out: Arkansas’ earnings report is just the latest example of women’s college sports’ meteoric rise and also bolsters softball’s case as a college heavy-hitter. We’ll say it again and again — if you monetize women’s sports, good things happen.