Rentschler Field is approaching a $1 million deficit this fiscal year after the University of Connecticut football team has seen a consistent decline in game attendance.
Since 2014, UConn football game attendance has decreased by 100,000 to almost 59,000, according to the Hartford Courant.
According to Michael W. Freimuth, the executive director of the Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA), typical game attendance should average between 20,000 and 25,000, but last season the field saw an average of 9,675 attendees.
Per game at the stadium, UConn pays $172,000 in rent plus a $3-a-ticket surcharge, the Hartford Courant reported. The university is responsible for paying the first $250,000 of overall operating losses at the stadium, and the state pays for the rest of the money lost. It is predicted that the state will have to pay $762,000 to cover the balance of the deficit from this fiscal year.
“We certainly acknowledge that declining attendance at [Rentschler Field] has caused a negative financial impact,” Patrick McKenna, spokesperson for UConn Athletics said. “We are working in conjunction with the CRDA to better align our business practices to prioritize an increase in revenue while finding more cost effective ways to operate.”
This past fiscal year, the stadium closed the south gate, cutting costs on lighting and policing along that route in.
The UConn football team has had nine straight seasons with a losing record.
“We are confident that the future of UConn football is bright and equally confident that UConn Nation will come back to [Rentschler Field] as the team continues to show improvement on the field,” McKenna said.
Ashley Anglisano is the news editor for The Daily Campus. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.