Iowa State could suffer drastic revenue hit if college football season canceled

By Matt Johnson
Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

As the Iowa State Cyclones prepare for the 2020 college football season, there remains a fear that the COVID-19 pandemic wipes out fall sports. If that happens, Iowa State’s athletic department could change forever with a potential revenue hit that would create drastic changes.

Iowa State AD estimates $40 million in lost revenue if no college football season

In a letter released to Iowa State’s community on Monday, athletic director Jamie Pollard addressed the looming dangers ahead for the program. Specifically, the massive hit to the department’s revenue that would carry significant ramifications.

If there are no fall sports, including college football, Iowa State’s athletic department will lose $40 million in revenue over the next sixth months. Additionally, the schools’ educational fund will lose more than $41 million in the 2021 fiscal year.

Since the cancelation of March Madness and the suspension of spring sports, colleges across the country have lost out on countless revenue. Even before a potential college football season could begin, Pollard said Iowa State could lose an estimated $73 million since the pandemic began.

While the school and the Big 12 conference want a decision regarding the 2020 college football season that puts player safety first, Pollard and other conference officials are clearly weighing the economic devastation that will be felt if there are no sports this fall.

If there is no college football season, Iowa State already made it clear it would follow the same drastic budget cuts that other colleges took. All across the country, from Stanford University cutting 11 of its sports teams to UConn eliminating four programs, countless universities are wiping out several sports from their athletic department.

There remains a chance that football could be played this fall, but health officials are urging Iowas State to play games without fans due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If that happens, while it would soften the financial blow, cuts might still need to be made.