For the first time since joining the Southeastern Conference, the University of Missouri athletics department operated in the red last year.
Mizzou athletics made more money and spent more money than ever before during the 2016-17 fiscal year, but with ticket sales still lagging, expenses exceeded revenue by $4.5 million.
Ticket sales continued to tumble last year and couldn’t overcome increases in donor contributions and heightened spending for salaries and other overhead costs. Mizzou athletics generated $97,848,195 during Jim Sterk’s first year as athletics director, a slight increase of less than 1 percent from the previous year.
Spending reached $102,409,131, an uptick by 8.6 percent, according to financial records from MU’s mandated submission to the NCAA Membership Financial Reporting System.
The last time Missouri athletics reported an operating deficit was the 2011-12 fiscal year, MU’s final year in the Big 12 Conference. That year, Mizzou did not receive conference revenue distribution as part of its departure from the Big 12.
There’s a possibility Mizzou might operate at a deficit for 2017-18, too, when those numbers are finalized later this year.
Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch