University of Alabama Sports Earn More Money Than Any Team in the National Hockey League

(Photo: Michael Tosh)

CORRECTION 4/9/14: As Jeff the Baptist notes in the comments, I seriously misread the AP report. The University of Alabama's sports program did not earn more than the entire NHL, but any team in the NHL. I've altered the blog post headline and text accordingly.

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What is the appeal of college football? An Ohio State Buckeyes fan once explained to me that college football is the most fascinating sport because the teams are constantly changing as freshmen arrive and seniors graduate.

In many parts of the United States, college football is the king of sports. I grew up in Alabama, where the great football rivalry is between the University of Alabama and Auburn University. I remember that some college-bound students in my high school chose which college to attend based on which team won the Alabama-Auburn game that year.

So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that as a business, the athletic programs of the University of Alabama (mostly football) earn more money than any team in the National Hockey League, which is the professional hockey organization in the United States. Antonio Gonzalez writes for the Associated Press:

"Revenues derived from college athletics is greater than the aggregate revenues of the NBA and the NHL," said Marc Edelman, an associate professor at City University of New York who specializes in sports and antitrust law. He also noted that Alabama's athletic revenues last year, which totaled $143 million, exceeded those of all 30 NHL teams and 25 of the 30 NBA teams.

And the University of Alabama isn’t even the biggest college sports program in the country. The University of Texas claims that honor:

Texas is the largest athletic department, earning more than $165 million last year in revenue — with $109 million coming from football, according to Education Department data. The university netted $27 million after expenses.

-via Marginal Revolution


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Alabama does not make more money than the entire NHL. They make more money than any single team in the NHL. Most NHL teams seem to have revenues in the $90-100 million range.
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