Published: June 22, 2021
By: Adrian Dubose | LSU Manship School News Service
BATON ROUGE–LSU’s football and other sports programs lost $81 million in revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the school cannot use federal aid funds to reduce that deficit.
The athletics department has offset some of the losses through salary reductions and job cuts. It has received $23 million in relief money from the Southeastern Conference, and it has tapped reserve funds from profitable years to try to close the rest of the gap.
It also is counting on its private fundraising arm, the Tiger Athletic Foundation, to keep bringing in major donations. The foundation just hired a new leader, Matt Borman, who had led athletic fundraising at the University of Georgia.
The lost revenue came after parts or all of the seasons for many sports, including men’s basketball and baseball, were canceled in spring 2020 and attendance at football games was limited to 25% of Tiger Stadium’s 102,000-seat capacity.
That came after a banner year for a sports program that usually brings in among the highest revenue and profit totals in the country.
The national championship football team led by quarterback Joe Burrow took in $95 million in revenue in 2019-20 and earned a profit of $53.7 million.
But all that changed in March 2020 when LSU had to send students home, switch to online learning and curtail its athletics programs.
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