Boise State set a revenue record in fiscal ’23. Where did it rank in the Mountain West?

The Boise State athletic department generated a record amount of revenue in fiscal year 2023, thanks in large part to a sizable increase in donations and contributions.

Boise State generated $60,653,009 between June 30, 2022, and June 30, 2023, according to annual revenue reports the university submitted to the NCAA and Idaho State Board of Education. The school broke its record of $51,881,769 from fiscal year 2019.

Boise State’s actual expenses last year were $60,653,024, meaning the department came remarkably close to breaking even, according to the form Boise State submitted to the State Board.

The Financial Reporting System form all member institutions are required to submit to the NCAA shows the department’s expenses as $58,257,005, which leaves a surplus of about $2.4 million. The reason for the difference is that while the NCAA report includes revenue the university took in from the Boise State Foundation to cover capital projects, it doesn’t include capital expenses, according to a spokesperson for Boise State.

The bulk of Boise State’s capital expenses in FY ‘23 were for the purchase of new LED light fixtures at Albertsons Stadium and the replacement of the north video board in the stadium’s north end zone. The upgraded video board was primarily funded by a $1.8 million donation from Agribeef. An anonymous donation of $750,000 covered most of the cost of the lights.

The expenses incurred to replace the video board in the south end zone are not included because the project was not completed by the time the fiscal year ended, according to the university.

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Boise State ended FY ‘22 with a surplus of $240,000, which was its largest since 2019. The athletic department ended FY ‘21 operating at a deficit of more than $600,000; in large part that was the result of canceled football games and limitations on crowd sizes because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Part of why the university broke even last year was that the department collected $12.7 million in contributions and donations from individuals, corporations, associations, foundations, clubs or other organizations supporting their athletic programs. Boise State received $9.1 million in contributions and donations in FY ‘22 and $4.7 million in FY ‘21.

Boise State has received more than nine donations of at least $1 million since Athletic Director Jeramiah Dickey was hired in January 2021.

The Broncos also saw a small increase in ticket sales last year. They accounted for $7.7 million in FY ‘23, which was up from $7.2 million the previous year. It was the most revenue the department generated through ticket sales since 2017, when they accounted for $7.3 million.

Boise State saw a slight decrease in direct institutional support, which is funds the university allocates for athletics. They’re drawn from a combination of sources, including state funds, tuition, tuition discounts and waivers, and reimbursements from transfers, according to the FRS revenue report. The athletic department received $8.3 million in FY ‘23 after getting $10.6 million the previous year.

The department earned $5.1 million in media rights, which was up slightly from the $5.03 it collected in FY ‘22. The Broncos also collected almost $1.6 million in Mountain West distributions and $1.9 million from the NCAA, both of which were almost identical from the previous fiscal year.

Boise State collected almost $900,000 more in student fees than the previous fiscal year. Those fees, which are built into the tuition costs for all students, accounted for more than $4.6 million in FY ‘23 and $3.7 million in FY ‘22.

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The football team continued its trend of generating about half of Boise State’s revenue. The sport generated $28.5 million, up from $25.6 million the previous year. The team’s expenses added up to $23.4 million, marking a surplus of $5.1 million.

Football was the only sport at Boise State that ended FY ‘23 operating in the black, which is common in college athletics. Men’s basketball, which had a small surplus in recent years, generated $4.8 million but had expenses exceeding $4.9 million. It ended FY ‘22 with a surplus of about $1 million.

The women’s basketball team ended the year operating at a deficit of $2.5 million after it generated just $415,883. The team ended FY ‘22 with a deficit of about $1.2 million.

Ranking the Mountain West

Boise State ranked No. 5 in the Mountain West in terms of revenue generated in FY ‘23, according to annual reports, a database maintained by Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communication and the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, and a database maintained by Sportico. The school also ranked No. 5 in the 12-team conference last year.

San Diego State once again led the conference after its revenue took a massive jump. The Aztecs generated almost $104 million in FY ‘23, up from almost $65.9 million the previous year. San Jose State generated the least amount of revenue for the second year in a row, bringing in just over $44.5 million.

Here’s a look at how the conference breaks down. Figures for FY ‘22 are in parentheses.

1. San Diego State

Revenue: $103,930,691 ($65,897,302)

Expenses: $96,611,742 ($67,245,917)

Net: + $7,318,949 (- $1,348,615)

2. Air Force

Revenue: $81,206,512

Expenses: $69,236,514

Net: + $11,969,998

3. Colorado State

Revenue: $64,304,072 ($61,263,230)

Expenses: $64,463,788 ($61,220,502)

Net: - $159,716 (+ $42,728)


Revenue: $64,127,683 ($64,243,413)

Expenses: $69,390,031 ($62,644,050)

Net: - $5,262,348 (+ $1,599,363)

5. Boise State

Revenue: $60,653,009 ($50,569,147)

Expenses: $60,653,024 ($50,328,947)

Net: - $15 (+ $240,200)

6. Hawaii

Revenue: $53,867,691 ($49,422,827)

Expenses: $52,696,666 ($48,029,141)

Net: + $1,171,025 (+ $1,393,686)

7. Utah State

Revenue: $51,789,705 ($43,157,838)

Expenses: $51,389,553 ($42,824,185)

Net: + $400,152 (+ $333,653)

8. Wyoming

Revenue: $50,083,847 ($50,255,883)

Expenses: $48,300,019 ($47,146,996)

Net: + $1,783,828 (+ $3,108,887)

9. Nevada

Revenue: $49,533,190 ($47,946,637)

Expenses: $49,509,846 ($45,225,707)

Net: + $23,344 (+ $2,720,930)

10. Fresno State

Revenue: $48,938,712 ($54,124,579)

Expenses: $51,738,485 ($46,515,828)

Net: - $2,799,773 (+ $7,608,751)

11. New Mexico

Revenue: $47,763,222 ($44,881,065)

Expenses: $47,048,657 ($44,865,758)

Net: + $714,565 (+ $15,307)

12. San Jose State

Revenue: $44,546,781 ($39,030,222)

Expenses: $44,546,341 ($39,030,022)

Net: + $440 (+ $200)