Copyright © 2019 Albuquerque Journal
It took a couple assists, but the University of New Mexico’s Athletics Department stayed within its budget last fiscal year.
Preliminary figures show the department had a positive net balance of $115,000 last year, athletic department officials said during a regents’ Finance and Facilities Committee meeting Tuesday.
That means the department didn’t deviate and overspend from its roughly $32 million operating budget, which is a bit of an anomaly for Lobo athletics. The department didn’t stay within its budget eight times in 10 years, racking up nearly $5 million in debt that athletics is planning to pay back in increments.
“I do see it as a victory because I understand the sacrifices and hard work our coaches, our staff, our students, our university, everybody put into this,” Athletic Director Eddie Nuñez said of finishing the 2019 fiscal year in the black. “But I also still understand there are some challenges ahead of us.”
In order to make budget last year, the athletics department relied on the transfer of roughly $1 million from the rest of the university and the transfer of a $789,000 land proceed, according to budget documents.
The department also saved money by leaving positions vacant, according to budget documents.
“I really appreciate the effort you’ve made and the success you’ve had in turning around the athletics department,” UNM Regent Rob Schwartz said. “But I’m concerned about those transfers.”
The biggest revenue sources for Lobo athletics was the media rights/sponsorships/licensing contract and the school’s membership in the Mountain West Conference, which each accounted for nearly $5 million in revenue last year. Men’s basketball sold almost $3.6 million worth of tickets and the athletics department also received $3.3 million in student fees, according to budget documents.