Economic Impacts of Rutgers Athletics and Future Implications of the Big Ten

Econsult Solutions, Inc. (ESI) was retained to conduct an economic impact analysis of Rutgers University athletics as the department continues to evolve in the Big Ten Conference, which the university officially joined in 2014.

Among ESI’s findings:

  • In 2014-15, Rutgers Athletics spent $67 million on its programs and debt service. This figure is anticipated to increase to $85 million by 2021-22.
  • Between 2014 and 2022, the total potential economic impact from athletics spending within the state of New Jersey is between $109 and $139 million, including 920 to 1,180 jobs and $2.2 million to $2.8 million in taxes
  • Based on 2014-15 football and basketball attendance, Rutgers Athletics’ visitors potentially generated $29 million in economic impact, supported 310 jobs and $720,000 in taxes to the state. Assuming Rutgers Athletics fills its stadiums to Big Ten levels, total potential economic impact to New Jersey is $32 million with 340 jobs and $780,000 in taxes.
  • Compared to Rutgers’ former conference, the American Athletic Conference, the Big Ten is a more competitive conference with higher quality programs and higher quality athletic facilities. Capital investments in Rutgers’ athletic facilities will increase Rutgers’ athletics reputation and generate economic and fiscal impacts to New Jersey. The impacts from capital investments in athletics facilities will potentially generate $96 to $191 million in economic impact, 660 to 1,320 jobs and $2.6 to $5.2 million in taxes during the construction period.
  • All told, the current economic and fiscal impacts from university and visitor spending include $138 million in output, support of 1,230 jobs and $2.9 million in taxes. Potential future economic and fiscal impacts from university and visitor spending include $171 million in output, support of 1,520 jobs and $3.6 million in taxes.

This report also delved into the need for Rutgers to upgrade its athletic facilities in order to keep pace with its new Big Ten competitors.

High Point Solutions Stadium, home to Rutgers’ football team, opened in 1994 and was renovated in 2009 when roughly 11,000 seats were added to bring its seating capacity to 52,424. It’s currently the third-smallest stadium in the Big Ten in terms of capacity.

Rutgers Athletic Center, home to Rutgers’ basketball team and better known as “The RAC,” opened in 1977 and has a seating capacity of 8,000. It’s currently the smallest basketball arena in the Big Ten in terms of capacity.

The current Rutgers Athletics budget for 2014-2022 does not include any allocations for athletic facilty upgrades.

To download and read the report in its entirety, click the icon to the right.

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