Florida's 2013-14 athletics budget: Gators lost $854K on Sugar Bowl, O'Connell Center renovations planned for summer 2014

Kevin C. Cox

The state of Florida athletics' budget is still strong — despite taking a bath on the Sugar Bowl.

The summer means the slow trickle of news for the 2013-14 Florida athletic calendar, and one of those sources of news is the athletics budget. David Jones of the FLORIDA TODAY — my hometown paper, and the first paper I ever wrote for — is dropping a lot of those gems on Twitter right now.

Here they are, compiled, with a little reaction to each.

I believe this is the first time there's been a Florida athletics budget exceeding $100 million. It may never dip under that mark again.

If memory serves, part of the reason for the bump in Florida's budget in 2011-12 was the development and construction of the new Florida gymnastics facility on the north side of the O'Connell Center. Speaking of the O'Dome...

I believe this is the first time Florida has semi-publicly stated a timeframe for the renovation of the O'Connell Center. That project may well eat into some of the fall season for Gators sports, though volleyball is the only sport that plays games in the O'Connell Center in the fall, so it will probably be begun early in the summer of whatever year it happens.

We all knew Florida was struggling to sell Sugar Bowl tickets, but a loss of nearly a million dollars is a colossal one, even for a program as well-equipped to absorb it as Florida. There are many reasons that the SEC wants to control bowl locations and reduce ticket allotments for its schools, and baths like that one are prime among them.

Still, Florida's making a healthy return on its investment in athletics:

A $20 million profit despite an avoidable loss of almost a million dollars is a really good return for a $100 million corporation, and that's without considering some of the sneaky things college athletics programs can do to disguise ongoing expenses and hide revenues. Florida's got very little to worry about in terms of finances right now, and vigilant protection of its revenue streams will help secure a strong future.

We'll add to this post as more numbers become available.

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