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Colorado to lose an estimated $88 million without Football in 2020

No athletics translates into a significant hit for CU's bottom line

Oregon v Colorado Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

The Pac-12 and Big Ten took a step forward by decided to forgo the 2020 football season on Tuesday. What was all but a foregone conclusion turned into a waiting game with teams hoping conditions of the Covid-19 pandemic might improve.

No football for schools will be a significant loss, not only for everyone involved, but for athletic budgets in the foreseeable future.

Patrick Rishe, the director of sports business at Washington University in St. Louis believes football programs across the country will suffer a great economic impact as a result of no games on the schedule until next year. Between the Pac-12 and Big Ten, a combined $2.2 billion in revenue will be lost.

Rishe estimates the "65 Power Five schools would collectively lose more than $4 billion in football revenue alone, with at least $1.2 billion of that due to lost ticket revenue," according to ESPN.

"Each Power 5 school would see at least an average loss of $62 million in football revenue, including at least $18.6 million in football ticket sales," he said. Rishe’s projected losses, based on the latest data from 2017, are "conservative and don’t include potential losses in media revenue, conference distributions, donations and revenues from corporate partnerships."

According to tax filings, a combined $1.675 billion was distributed to the 65 Power Five schools from broadcast partners in 2019. This includes $440 million from ESPN, FOX and CBS.

With those figures, the reported $62 million loss per institution becomes closer to an average of $88 million without the cost of yearly inflation.

Colorado was set to start training camp next week before the Pac-12's announcement. As of now, football will be played after Jan. 1, 2021, if at all.