Tag Archives: losing

Haslam Sees Financial Woes in Losing UT Football Program

Gov. Bill Haslam tells the Chattanooga TFP that the University of Tennessee’s football team can’t continue down the road followed during the past season or two.
“They can’t be average, and you hate to say it that way, but financially it just doesn’t work,” Haslam said Thursday afternoon. “They have to fill that stadium up. They get the benefit of being a part of the SEC and all the TV money that comes with that, but at the end of the day, if they can’t fill that stadium up and sell concessions, then not just the football program but all the other sports that benefit from a strong football program suffer.”
The Volunteers, who not long ago racked up 10-win seasons and New Year’s Day bowl invitations with great regularity, are just 28-34 the past five years and 12-28 in league play. Tennessee has its fourth head coach since 2008, and a report this week in the SportsBusiness Journal detailed the athletic department’s financial woes.
Tennessee is carrying more than $200 million of debt, according to the article, which is not unlike recent debt figures at Alabama and LSU. Yet Tennessee’s reserves are just $1.95 million, whereas most every other SEC institution has reserves between $50 million and $100 million.
The SportsBusiness Journal reported that Tennessee’s athletic department spends $21 million annually on debt payments, $13.5 million of which comes from the university’s stressed $99.5 million athletic budget and the rest from donations. Athletic director Dave Hart was quoted as saying, “We’ve got to get football healthy.”
“If you want to be bottom line about it, it shows why UT-Knoxville has to be good in football,” Haslam said. “You have a whole program that’s set up with a 100,000-seat Neyland Stadium, and it’s a program that supports all the other sports other than basketball and provides scholarships back to the university.”
This past football season, the Vols lost their first seven conference games for the first time in program history, which included a third consecutive 31-point setback against longtime rival Alabama. Attendance dropped sharply after the loss to the Crimson Tide, and the Vols wound up averaging 89,965 fans per home game.
It was the lowest season average for Tennessee since 1979, when Neyland had a capacity of 80,250.

Democrats on Winning While Losing

Despite having handed Republicans a highly coveted super majority status in the General Assembly, Democrats heralded Tuesday as a victory, reports Andrea Zelinski.
Losing six state House seats over last legislative session’s total is actually a win for Democrats, top party leaders said Wednesday.
“Our numbers are down, we know that,” said Craig Fitzhugh, the leading House Democrat. “But the fact that we were able to retain all of our incumbents and pick up four new seats clearly shows the reversal of a trend. We are in the process of clawing our way back, ladies and gentlemen.”
While the minority party had ownership of 34 seats on the last day of the legislative session, they say they really only had 24 after the retirements of seven members and Republicans drawing them out of three more.
Walking away from Tuesday’s election with anything more than 24 seats is a victory, House Democratic Caucus Leader Mike Turner said.

Chattanooga Republican Spent $385,400 of His Own Money in Losing Senate Bid

Chattanooga Republican Greg Vital wound up putting $385,400 of his own money into an ultimately losing August GOP primary battle with fellow GOP candidate Todd Gardenhire, according to Action Andy’s review of new state filings.
Vital, a successful health care entrepreneur and developer, reported spending $500,000 over the course of the campaign, according to his third quarter disclosure filed with the Registry of Election Finance.
Efforts Tuesday to contact Vital, who lost the open Senate District 10 race by a heart-stopping 45 votes, were unsuccessful.
As of Tuesday night, Gardenhire had not filed his latest disclosure, which covers the period from July 24 to Sept. 30 and includes final primary spending. The filing deadline is today.
Democrat AndraƩ McGary has yet to file as well. Up through July 23, Gardenhire reported total receipts of $116,205, including $86,205 in self-made loans, and expenditures of $105,000. The primary was Aug. 2.