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CU athletics set to take financial hit due to summer cancellations

Summer camps, Dead & Company concerts won’t be held due to COVID-19 concerns

Colorado athletic director Rick George was pleased with the football team averaging 47,056 fans at Folsom Field this season.
Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer
Colorado athletic director Rick George was pleased with the football team averaging 47,056 fans at Folsom Field this season.

With the University of Colorado suspending all on-campus events through July 31, the CU athletics department faces a big financial hit.

CU has canceled all summer sports camps, and the Dead & Company concerts at Folsom Field scheduled for July 10-11 will not be held.

Those cancellations could cost CU athletics well over $1 million in profit.

Outside events – which includes Dead & Company concerts, weddings and other private functions – netted CU athletics a profit of $1,757,952 during the 2018-19 fiscal year. CU budgeted for a profit of more than $2 million from outside events for the 2020 fiscal year, although this year’s Dead & Company shows would fall under the 2021 budget.

Dead & Company concerts, which have been held annually at Folsom Field since 2016, represent a large chunk of that profit from outside events. According to a Daily Camera report in 2017, CU athletics netted nearly $700,000 from the 2016 shows.

CU spokesperson Joshua Lindenstein told the Camera that while the Dead & Company shows will not be held in July, “We’re working with the concert promoter to explore the possibility of alternative dates and options, and will provide updates as more information becomes available.”

It’s unclear how many other outside events will be impacted by CU’s decision to suspend on-campus events through July.

As for the sports camps, CU had a net profit of $566,894 during the 2019 fiscal year, based on the department’s financial report.

A few of CU’s sports teams posted an announcement on Twitter on Wednesday that read: “Due to the ongoing challenges from the COVID-19 virus, the University of Colorado Boulder has suspended all in-person on-campus events through July 31. In alignment with this important campus shift, the CU Athletic Department will be canceling all CU Summer Sport Camps for June and July.

“We know that this news will be disappointing, and we share in those sentiments. We want you to know that the health and safety of our participants and staff is paramount in these types of decisions. We appreciate your support of our Summer Camps and hope that you can join us in the future.”

For the football team, high school individual camps and a youth skills camp have been canceled, as well as a 7-on-7 shootout. The men’s and women’s basketball programs are each canceling five camps. CU has also canceled camps for soccer, volleyball, golf and lacrosse.

Losing the summer camps will have significant impact for some of CU’s teams, such as women’s soccer and volleyball. During the 2019 fiscal year, camps provided 40.9 percent of the soccer team’s total revenue and 37.7 percent of the volleyball team’s total revenue.

Although camps are a small fraction of the revenue for football (0.2 percent) and men’s basketball (2.2 percent), five of CU’s programs had at least 11 percent of its revenue come from summer camps in the 2019 fiscal year.

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