Kansas University's athletic department operating budget is expected to grow more than $4 million next year.
The KU Athletic Corp. released the proposed fiscal 2005-06 budget during its board meeting Tuesday, and the actual and proposed requests stand at about $40 million.
The FY 2004-05 budget was $35,738,885, which ranked as seventh highest in the Big 12 Conference. The biggest income increase between this year and next year will be the unrestricted income from ESPN Regional. The KUAC contract with the media giant brought in $1,582,000 last year and will grow to around $5 million next year.
Last month, KU agreed to an extension with ESPN Regional, signing a seven-year, $40.2 million deal. Even though one year remained on the old contract, which brought in just less than $2 million per year, the new deal still will go into effect July 1, the first day of the new fiscal year.
As for the 2004-05 year, board members are pleased with how it's projected to end June 30, even though the new, sizable deals with ESPN and adidas will not count toward the income.
"The revenues are ahead of the budget, and the expenses are about what we expected," said Theresa Klinkenberg, the KUAC board treasurer. "We'll be in the black by the end of the (fiscal) year."
KU athletic director Lew Perkins said any surplus would be placed in a reserve fund for a rainy day. KU already has a reserve fund, but Perkins wants the fund to hold at around $10 million -- or about a quarter of a typical year's budget.
Also discussed at Tuesday's meeting:
- KUAC salaries and fringe benefits are expected to increase from $13.7 million this year to $15.3 million. This includes salary increases, which will average around 3.25 percent, and newly created positions within the athletic department. Perkins said a full-time nutritionist recently was hired, a position KU never has had before.
- Groundbreaking for the Booth Family Hall of Athletics will be at 9:15 a.m. May 21 on the east side of Allen Fieldhouse. Several Booth family members, including David Booth of Los Angeles, Mark Booth of London and Jane Booth Berkley of Tescott, are expected to attend.
The Booth family donated $4 million toward the project in memory of their parents, Gilbert and Betty Booth.
Once construction begins on the 27,000-square foot facility, it will have to be erected in a hurry. KU needs to have the building up by Late Night in the Phog Oct. 14.