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Ken SugiuraKen Sugiura

Strong ticket sales gains $750,000 surplus for Tech

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ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 24: Ermon Lane #1 of the Florida State Seminoles greets Freddie Burden #58 of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at midfield before the game in an ACC sportsmanship initiative at Bobby Dodd Stadium on October 24, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

The sellout of Bobby Dodd Stadium for last year’s Georgia Tech-Florida State game has helped the athletic department gain an operating surplus of almost $750,000. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

From a football/men’s basketball perspective, let’s just say that the 2015-16 year at Georgia Tech has been a bit of an underachievement.

There is at least one positive that can be taken from the sports, though. Due to strong ticket sales in both sports, the Georgia Tech Athletic Association is projecting a net income of just under $750,000 for the 2016 fiscal year. The original forecast was for the department to break even. Associate athletic director for finance and administration Marvin Lewis provided the update at the association’s recent quarterly board meeting.

“Our ticket sales has been really positive,” athletic director Mike Bobinski said. “Our football numbers were beyond budget, so we exceeded budget there, and the season-ticket shortfall that we had actually planned for has been covered up by individual game sales.”

The football sales are understandable, as the team was coming off an 11-3 season and had a home schedule that included Florida State, Georgia and Virginia Tech. The basketball sales uptick likely owes some thanks to strong support given to visiting teams such as Virginia, Louisville and Duke. As was the case last year, church groups bused down from Louisville, Ky., to cheer for the Cardinals.

If it remains through the rest of the year, the projected surplus of $744,948 would be deposited into the department’s fund balance, which is at $6.5 million. The department tries to keep the balance at a minimum of $6.5 million. The budget for the year is $76 million.

“(The fund balance) is something that gives you a comfort level that you can deal with circumstances that might arise,” Bobinski said.

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