I’m not a huge sports fan, I watch an occasional game and it seems there are a couple of days each year when all you find on television are football games. New Years day is one of those days (Thanksgiving is another). Knowing that we have a resource guide on the sports industry and that my co-worker (and co-author), Ellen Terrell, has an interest in football we thought a post on the topic might be fun.
Anytime I go looking for information it seems like the Census Bureau always has some little tidbit of information. In this case, in 1985 there were 509 football teams in the NCAA and in 2008 the number had grown to 628 teams. During this same period of time attendance at these games increased by about 40% from 34,952,000 in 1985 to 48,839,000 in 2008. (2010 Statistical Abstract, Table 1207 and 1996 Statistical Abstract, Sec. 7, Table 412)
Also about this time of year sports writers often write about the top programs in terms of revenue. The Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act requires schools to prepare an annual report on their overall revenues to the Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education. The Department of Education created an analysis tool designed to provide customized reports for public inquiries relating to equity in athletics data. Data is available for a single institution or for a group of institutions and searches can be done geographically, by sanctioning body or by a particular conference.
In terms of revenue the Bowl Champion Series (BCS) is a whole different ball game (the pun really wasn’t intended but did seem to fit). For those of you who didn’t know, the BCS is a 5-game system formed in 1998 and managed by the 11 Division I-A conferences, and is designed to match the two top rated teams in a national championship game.
For further research, the resources found in our guide on professional football should be useful.
Many thanks to Ellen Terrell, my co-author for this post.