A common refrain (and sometimes excuse) for the new information regarding the budget is that stadium rent and prior buyouts likely make up a large amount of the budget.
According to my calculations the amount of rent for the 2004 season was between about $840,000. By playing at a large facility such as the Rose Bowl, UCLA has the potential to have much greater revenues. (However average attendance in 2004 was only 60,515; in 2003: 56,636; contrast this with even Bob Toledo's last year, 2002: over 65,000; 2001: over 64,000; 2000: over 67,000; 1999 was bad, under 50,000, but 1998 was over 73,000). If UCLA could sell just 10,000 more so-called Blue Tickets that would amount to over $2.3 million more in revenues, not including the Annual Fund contributions. Considering the Rose Bowl has a capacity over 90,000, this is not a huge stretch.
Considering the potential for millions in increased revenues, rent of less than $900,000 is not all that much. Moreover, the City of Pasadena has agreed to capital improvements estimated at $12.5 million, which essentially amounts to free rent for over 16 years. Additionally, the City is responsible for most (if not all of the maintenance costs). So it appears, that just as in true in this housing market, renting may actually be cheaper than buying!
People have also raised the issue of the Lavin and Toledo buyouts, but this amounts to less than $300,000 for the remainder of the contracts (four more years) or a total of less than $1.2 million over the next four years.
The new excuse seems to be that we spend so much already, we can't possibly spend more!
This too is deeply flawed, for the reason that increased season ticket sales of only 10,000 would raise over $2.3 million. This is hardly a pipedream, as 2004 saw increased ticket sales of an average of 4,000 per game, but was still almost 15,000 less per game than 1998 and approximately 4,000 less per game than each of Toledo's last three years!
That's not even taking into account the potential for increased donations. We're not the only ones who think that the fundraising has been subpar:
In 2003, the UCLA athletic department took in a rather modest $7.7 million in annual revenues and last year the total was $6.7 million.
UCLA last year lagged behind many NCAA Division I athletic programs across the nation and in the Pac-10. In comparison, Oklahoma, which will bring its nationally ranked football program to the Rose Bowl in September, received $17 million in annual contributions last year.
Within the conference, Cal last year received $17.6 million last year and Washington generated $15.1 million. This year, with a major push to fund a $160 million-$180 million renovation and seismic upgrade of 81-year-old Memorial Stadium underway, Cal is expected to receive close to $60 million through private donations.
"We want to get to the $10 million mark in the very near future. We want to get to the $12 million mark thereafter and $15 million after that. But that's going to take effort," Guerrero said, of the department's annual fundraising efforts, which does not include donations geared toward capital development projects like the renovation of Pauley Pavilion.
Besides, there are well-founded reports that Guerrero turned down donations of over $1 million right before he fired Toledo. Why? Because, as is confirmed in the above links, the administration doesn't want to be accountable or let the boosters have any control over the coaching search. God forbid they actually come up with a coaching search that includes more than 3 retreads and never-beens.