Photo special to Bison Illustrated
We asked you, Bison Nation, to send us your questions about the NDSU athletic program and you answered the bell. Now it’s time for Bison Illustrated and NDSU Director of Athletics Matt Larsen to answer back. Where does NDSU stand financially? Should NDSU go to the FBS? These burning questions and more were proposed by you and Larsen has the answers.
Editor’s Note: Two weeks after we published this article in the magazine, USA Today updated its finance numbers through the 2016 year. Go to this link to find the updated numbers through 2016.
Ticket sales have sky-rocketed the past 11 years. Success on the football field and basketball court have culminated into bigger crowds at the Fargodome and the new Scheels Center at the Sanford Health Athletic Complex. The spike has been so dramatic that the portion of NDSU’s total revenue from ticket sales has nearly doubled.
Fan attendance is up by nearly 6,000 per game for football and nearly 1,000 for men’s basketball. The implementation of a new season ticket system has also enhanced NDSU’s ticket revenue.
According to USA Today, NDSU’s revenue from rights and licensing has jumped by six times the amount since 2005. The majority of this goes back to NDSU creating a stronger brand for itself.
The school’s television rights from KVLY and Midco, and radio rights from Radio FM Media have played a major role with more lucrative deals for NDSU. Meanwhile, NDSU merchandise flies off the shelves for vendors who are paying NDSU brand royalty fees.
NO LONGER SUBSIDY DEPENDENT
In short, subsidies include student fees and an allocation from the school fund which comes from the state. Nearly half of the NDSU Athletic Department’s revenue relied on subsidies in 2005.
At the end of 2015, that percentage dropped by 10 percent. NDSU relies on student fees and school funding less than any other school in the Summit League and Missouri Valley Football Conference.
LARSEN’S TAKE: NDSU FANS LOYAL ATTENDANCE
“I think two of the hardest things in athletics to get into place are a rabid and passionate fan base, and then getting people to come to games. You look at a lot of Group of Five schools, they struggle with attendance. You look at other FCS schools, they struggle with attendance. When you look at North Dakota State, because of the success, we’re drawing great crowds for football.”