K-State Athletics to remain self-sustaining

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Willie the Wildcat leads the crowd in a classic cheer at Bill Snyder Family Stadium during K-State's football game against Bowling Green on Sept. 7, 2019. The Wildcats won 52-0. (Abigail Compton | Collegian Media Group)

K-State Athletics is budgeted to remain one of just eight athletics departments in the nation, and the only one in Kansas, that receives no funding from its associated university or student fees.

Athletics’s released its annual report this week, including the budget for the fiscal year of Oct. 1, 2019 to Sept. 30, 2020. According the report, this will be Atheltics’s 10th straight year with a balanced budget.

Football ticket revenue is projected to reach $12.4 million, about 15 percent of the expected $83.5 million in revenue. Men’s basketball ticket sales are planned to account for 3.58 percent, or almost $3 million.

The $83,550,78 budget amounts to a $1.4 million increase from last year.

The largest anticipated revenue source will be payouts from the Big 12 and NCAA. The budget does not divide those payouts, but combined the entities are projected to pay K-State $38.9 million, or 46.57 percent of the budget.

The largest expense is operating and recruiting including staff salaries, travel and equipment totaling $32.4 million, nearly 39 percent of all expenses.

Athletics will also provide $10 million in scholarships for athletes and $6 million on academic, strength and sports medicine support.

Athletics provides $200,000 of direct support to the Kansas State University Marching Band budget and a little over $100,000 for cheerleading.

The Ahearn Fund raised its second highest amount in department history with $44.4 million in donations, capital gifts and endowments last year from more than 8,000 donors in 48 states.

Also in the report is a partial budget and timeline for “the largest capital project in department history” announced by Athletics Director Gene Taylor in September. The $105 million initiative is part of Athletics’s overall facilities masterplan to benefit 16 programs. The Building Champions project will begin in May 2020 with $50 million in enhancements to the south end zone in Bill Snyder Family Stadium that will wrap up in summer 2021. The timeline for the remaining three projects (a volleyball arena, Olympic training center and indoor football facility) will be announced once “appropriate funding has been committed,” according to the report.

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