Facilities Financing Revenue Increases 26% in FY14
With four of the five revenue sources that support the financing plan for Intercollegiate Athletics facilities showing double-digit growth for the 2014 fiscal year, total proceeds for the 12 months from July 2013 through June 2014 exceeded $29.4 million – a 26.4% increase from FY13.
While income from pledge seat sales declined to $9.9 million, the fact that overall revenues increased significantly shows that the revised, multifaceted approach for financing the facilities, which was updated from the original model in 2012, has helped stabilize the financial model to meet debt service payments for California Memorial Stadium and the Simpson Center for Student-Athlete High Performance.
Reports on Athletics Facilities Financing
For the 2014 fiscal year, premium seat revenue (non-pledge) grew to $885,166 (up 27% compared to FY13), philanthropy and other commercial revenues were over $7.7 million (up 78%), leasing and rental revenues were $540,477 (up 184%), and investment earnings were $10.3 million (up 52%).
As a result, total cash received through June 30, 2014, was $77 million and the balance of the Fund Functioning as an Endowment (FFE), considered a key metric to the financing model, was $63.4 million, or $7.9 million ahead of the forecast base-case scenario. Should the FFE remain on track to meet forecast base-case figures through 2053, it would have a balance of $394.1 million against an outstanding principal balance of $75 million that would be due in 2112.
“With strong growth in new revenue categories, we are beginning to see the expanded model pay off,” said John Wilton, Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance. “Although pledge seat sales did not hit the target for FY14, we saw a record amount of cash received. We acknowledge that vulnerabilities do remain, and we will continue to monitor our findings on a quarterly basis and provide a report at the end of each fiscal year. We are also committed to transforming California Memorial Stadium into a multiuse facility that serves academics, athletics, and our broader campus community.”
A good example of staff’s efforts to increase revenue is reflected in winning the right to host an international soccer match between European powerhouse teams Real Madrid and FC Inter in July that generated significant revenue for the stadium and other campus entities. The game drew a sellout crowd that attracted many fans who would not normally attend events on campus. The Maxwell Field parking structure, currently under construction, will open just after the start of the New Year and will enable Berkeley to host other special events of various sizes.
During FY14, Intercollegiate Athletics also began to receive lease revenue from agreements for the Haas School of Business Innovation Lab and Recreational Sports fitness facility, which both opened early in the fiscal year. There are several additional tenants with long-term leases who are expected to move into the stadium in FY15, including the Center for Executive Education, the College of Engineering and the Goldman School of Public Policy.
The philanthropy and other commercial revenue collected for FY14 includes the annual payment from the 15-year, $18 million field naming rights partnership with Kabam, Inc., which was announced in December 2013.
Total pledge seats sold at the end of the fiscal year in June 2014 was 1,664, down from 1,780 at the end of FY13. When including perk season tickets, premium group tickets, University Club bundle seats and Field Club bundle seats, the total premium full-season equivalents sold at the end of FY14 was 1,941 seats. An additional 73 pledge seats, which were in progress at the fiscal close, were collected by the start of the 2014 football season, raising the pledge seat number to 1,737 seats.
“The current financing model shows its merit given the disappointing pledge seat sales last year,” Wilton said. “Although seat sales are a major component, there is much less vulnerability due to multiple sources of income, and thus the ability to generate sufficient revenue to meet debt service payments is less dependent on their success or failure. The probability of future financial challenges is not zero; it can’t be. But this more robust model gives us the ability to proactively respond and adjust to changes in circumstances and opportunities. Our staff has done an excellent job and deserves our congratulations.”
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