College Finances: Extra Money From ACC Boosts FSU's Revenues

Published: Friday, June 8, 2012 at 11:58 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, June 8, 2012 at 11:58 p.m.

Florida State's financial concerns have improved dramatically thanks to additional cash distribution from the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The ACC provided member schools an extra $1.6 million on June 1, funds that came from having two programs (Clemson and Virginia Tech) in BCS bowls this past season as well as additional revenue from bowl reimbursements and conference tournaments.

FSU athletic director Randy Spetman said at the school's Board of Trustees meeting on Friday in Sarasota that the ACC gives schools a conservative estimate for use in athletic department budgeting. The $1.6 million ensures that FSU not only makes its budget goals in 2011-12, but also helps reduce the anticipated shortfall in 2012-13.

The athletics department was looking at a projected 2012-13 deficit of $2.4 million, but that has now been revised to $1.5 million. FSU will tap into a reserve fund to cover the shortfall.

Without giving specific numbers, Spetman said that FSU's football ticket sales are improving – although not as much as a seven-game home schedule that included West Virginia.

The Mountaineers backed out of the game in February, and FSU was forced to scramble for an opponent before making a deal with Savannah State.

FSU on Friday also moved a giant step closer to owning the Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center, the arena where the Seminoles' basketball teams play as well as the site for commencement ceremonies.

The Civic Center had been fighting bankruptcy and nearly closed in January or February, FSU administrators said. That was at the same time that the FSU men's basketball team was putting together a 25-10 season that eventually saw the Seminoles win the ACC Tournament for the first time.

FSU administrators jumped in and pre-paid approximately $500,000 to keep the Civic Center from closing its doors during the basketball season.

A transfer of the arena to FSU still requires approval by the Civic Center board and the Board of Governors. FSU and Seminole Boosters, Inc. will assume the bond debt on the building.

The boosters have hired a consultant to help with plans to renovate the facility ahead of the 2012-13 season.

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