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Football program ranks as second most valuable

Carly Landon | Tuesday, January 19, 2010

 It’s no secret that each fall, Notre Dame football brings in crowds, fans and money. This year, Forbes Magazine ranked Notre Dame’s Football Program as the second most valuable college football program in the country in a survey published on Dec. 22.

“Certainly it is a great compliment to us and our program, senior associate athletic director for Media and Broadcast Relations John Heisler said. “Not only are the programs in that rank and in that pool considered to be good programs, but they are known to be some of the best teams.”
 
Ranked just below University of Texas, which was ranked first with a value of $119 million, Notre Dame is valued at $108 million. Forbes used a set of standardized revenue and expense streams for each university surveyed. 
 
Forbes also listed the dividends generated by each football program by analyzing how much money was contributed back to the University as a whole and to other athletics programs after subtracting the cost of running the football operation. 
 
Forbes placed Notre Dame’s football program at an overall dividend of $38 million.
 
“Most the revenue is up to a lot of factors that have been in place a long time,” Heisler said. “We have had sellouts consistently since the 1960s. The ability to have a fully packed stadium for 40 years is a huge part of it.” 
 
Heisler said he attributes Notre Dame’s revenue to its ticket prices, television profits from a deal with NBC and “a handful of other odds and ends.”
 
“We’re a department like any other so if we have a greater revenue than our budget it just goes back to the University for the University’s use,” Heisler said. 
 
Heisler also said the revenue from the football program benefits other athletics here at Notre Dame. 
 
“Football has enabled us to pay our own way for not just football but also the other 25 sports. We have more than 300 full scholarships for our athletes and we pay those over the counter, essentially we are paying back to the University the full amount of the scholarship,” he said. “We are probably the best customers because through our revenue, we are basically paying it back. 
 
“The athletic department is paying for athletics, and we are very fortunate to have the revenue to do so,” Heisler said.