MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Billions of dollars are on the line as the college football season hangs in the balance.
The Big Ten Conference will reportedly vote Tuesday on canceling all games. Other conferences could follow, but the impact of no Minnesota Gopher football season wouldn’t just be felt on the field.
The team rowed the boat last year to their most successful season in 50 years. They finished with 11 wins and just two losses. But this year, the losses could be felt off the field.
Stephen Ross is a sports management professor at Concordia University in St. Paul.
“Some estimates I’ve heard is if there is no football season this year, they can lose approximately $60 million,” Ross said.
He says those losses would trickle down to non-revenue sports that rely on football to stay in the game.
“Without football, it’s a question of what happens with other sports in the fall,” Ross said.
The Big Ten was already preparing to take a hit on ticket sales, but Ross said a potential loss in TV revenue would be felt across the conference.
“Media rights, sponsorship and all that goes along with it is really the largest and most significant chunk,” Ross said.
Finally, there’s a marketing impact to this. Not just for the Gophers, but for all schools. Some studies show that after a successful football or basketball season, applications to that university go up anywhere from 5% to 7%. Brooke Gruidl is a recent University of Minnesota graduate.
“That’s one of the reasons I chose to come here in the first place. I wanted a Big Ten football school,” Gruidl said.
According to the U, Gopher football generated more than $9 million in ticket sales last year alone.