Gopher Puck Live recently took a look at college hockey revenues from the Equity in Athletics data set. Again, forget about net profits. There's not much value in comparing one line item on the balance sheet of a non-profit organization. Instead, a much better metric is to look at the revenue generated for each of these programs.
Here is the top 10 based on 2010 revenues:
1. Minnesota Golden Gophers (WCHA) -- $ 6,681,561
2. Wisconsin Badgers (WCHA) -- $5,297,711
3. Michigan Wolverines (CCHA) -- $4,102,771
4. North Dakota Fighting Sioux (WCHA) -- $3,915,971
5. Boston College Eagles (Hockey East) -- $3,702,040
6. Colorado College Tigers (WCHA) -- $3,059,597
7. Boston University Terriers (Hockey East) -- $2,973,001
8. Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks (WCHA) -- $2,795,864
9. New Hampshire Wildcats (Hockey East) -- $2,553,028
10. Maine Black Bears (Hockey East) -- $2,508,238
It shouldn't come as much of a surprise that Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota all finished in the top four in the country when it comes to college hockey revenues. This list is very neatly correlated to the size of your arena. Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota and Nebraska-Omaha are the only WCHA clubs with a barn that seats 10k or more. Similarly, Michigan's Yost Ice Arena is the second largest in the CCHA (behind Ohio State's cavernous Value City Arena) while BC's Conte Forum is also the second largest in Hockey East. The more seats you have, the more tickets sold, the highest revenues you'll have. Just math.
Also interesting to look at this list within the lens of Hockey East expansion. Notre Dame will join the fold in time for the 2013-14 season, but the Irish made just $485,078 on hockey in 2010. The new Compton Family Ice Arena will help the program generate more revenue, I'm sure, and we'll likely see this figure rise over the coming years.
But take a look at some of these other Hockey East expansion candidates:
- RPI Engineers (ECAC) -- $2,013,547
- Quinnipiac Bobcats (ECAC) -- $1,769,656
- Holy Cross Crusaders (Atlantic Hockey) -- $1,039,376
- UConn Huskies (Atlantic Hockey) -- $189,223
Granted it's a lot easier to put butts in seats when you have newer facilities and offer hockey scholarships, but look at the disparity between ECAC clubs like RPI and Quinnipiac as compared to Holy Cross and UConn. That is a significant drop-off between Quinnipiac and UConn and shows you a bit about just how big of a project UConn hockey will be if the conference does take them on as the 12th program.