Athletics: Canvas Stadium revenues outpacing projections

Canvas Stadium

Colorado State University’s Department of Athletics revealed a robust financial report for the 2018-19 fiscal year in its annual report to the CSU System Board of Governors, delivered Aug. 8. The department announced that the various revenue streams allowed for reinvestment in its programs, as well as making its annual $8 million payment on Canvas Stadium and providing $200,000 to support academic programs at CSU.

CSU’s landmark partnership with Canvas Credit Union was the primary driver behind the positive news. The $37.7 million partnership is the third-largest collegiate stadium naming rights agreement in the country and will help pay for a significant portion of the $220 million on-campus stadium, which opened in 2017.

“We’re very pleased with our financial position following the 2018-19 fiscal year,” said Joe Parker, CSU’s director of athletics. “Our partnership with Canvas Credit Union not only benefits the Department of Athletics and all of our student-athletes, it has had a positive impact across our campus.”

Highlights from Parker’s report

• Canvas Stadium had a successful second year of operation with revenue increasing by almost $1.5 million compared to the prior year, including an additional $1.775 million of revenue due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA17) causing total Canvas Stadium revenues to exceed FY 18 by more than $3.2 million.

• Total stadium expenses (exclusive of the bond payment) were approximately $2.9 million, a reduction of just over $177,000 from FY 18.  Total expenses exceed the 2012 CSL model by more than $1.5 million due to significant changes in the landscape of security and fan expectations since initial projections.

• Game day expenses for the 2018 football season were reduced almost $200,000 by aggressive cost-containment steps after assessment of the 2017 season and despite about $70,000 in additional game-day staffing expenses due to deployment of magnetometers for the 2018 season.

• Athletics reinvested an extra $1.996 million beyond revenue realized by Hughes Stadium into the department, while returning an additional $200,000 in revenue to the Office of Provost, which will be used for academic purposes.