Continued tightening of the financial bottom line has hit the University of Arizona athletic department.
On Monday afternoon, the Arizona athletics office announced it will eliminate 21 full-time positions in addition to 15 frozen positions that became vacant during the financial crisis” created by the pandemic.
No sports were eliminated.
“Today marks a difficult day of very tough decisions for our athletics department,” said Director of Athletics Dave Heeke in a statement. “I have a great sense of empathy and compassion for the members of our Wildcat Family who are impacted by these decisions. These challenging economic times have affected all of us. We’ve spent months exhaustively looking at all of our financial models and forecasts. We waited until all the information was available to make informed financial decisions about our economic stability this year and in the future.”
The workforce reductions and reorganization planning related to the 36 positions is part of Arizona Athletics’ ongoing cost-cutting measures to reduce overall spending by $30 million this fiscal year and beyond as the department faces a projected overall revenue loss of $45 million or more due to restriction of fan attendance at athletic events, a reduced football schedule, and the uncertainty of other revenue streams.
“I’d like to recognize the athletics department and Dave Heeke in their efforts to take their financial obligations serious during this global pandemic,” said University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins. “We all share the responsibility of effectively managing our resources to ensure we can effectively recover from this crisis.”
Additionally, the athletics department has taken the following additional steps to ensure financial stability:
- Compensation reductions and salary savings: $3.6 million for this fiscal year. This reduction includes participation in the University of Arizona’s campus wide furlough program, hiring freeze of vacant positions, and workforce reductions with a potential permanent savings of approximately $2.3 million
- Reduction of overall administrative expenses, which reduced spending by $8 million
- Anticipated reduction in overall sport expenses, which reduced spending by $5.2 million
- Additional operational and facility expense reductions, which reduced spending by $3.2 million
- Restructured debt for fiscal year 2020-21, which is anticipated to save $10 million for this fiscal year
Arizona Athletics continues to work closely with the Pac-12 Conference and the University of Arizona to identify additional financial mitigation strategies to address revenue shortfalls in the 2020-21 fiscal year.
Information for this story was provided by the UA’s sports communication office.