Ticket Sales, Business Partnerships Generated Record Revenue in 2017-18

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– Buoyed by Atlantic 10 championships in back-to-back seasons by the men's basketball team, Rhode Island has experienced record-breaking revenue income through its business partnerships and ticket sales over the last year.

Learfield's Rhody Sports Properties and the Ryan Center Box Office combined to bring in more than $2.8 million during 2017-18.  Both entities topped $1.4 million in revenue last year.

"We are seeing years of hard work come to fruition in the form of increased revenue streams," Director of Athletics Thorr Bjorn said. "Our business partnerships formed through Learfield and Rhody Sports Properties are at an all-time high. Several different ticket initiatives through the Ryan Center Box Office have proven to be extremely successful, and it all enables us to provide a higher standard of support our programs." 

During the 2017-18 year, Rhody Sports Properties brought in $1.46 million, a 6.1 percent increase from 2016-17. The figure also represents a 64 percent increase in revenue from the group's starting point five years ago.

The relationship between business partnerships and fan interest is clear. As of July 26, ticket sales for the 2018-19 men's basketball season had already exceeded the 2017-18 totals, representing an 8.9 percent increase over final season ticket sales from a year ago, and there are still three months remaining until the first game of the season. Rhode Island already is assured of a season ticket revenue increase for the fifth consecutive season.

"The atmosphere for games at the Ryan Center is second to none," Bjorn said. "We provide a first-class experience for everyone in the community, and people want to be a part of our success. It is an exciting time to be a part of Rhode Island Athletics."

Football season ticket sales are at 93.6 percent of last season's year-end totals with still one more month until the 2018 season kicks off. Women's basketball season tickets are at 67.1 percent of last year's final sales.

Men's basketball has been the driver for the success, with four homes games in 2017-18 being complete sellouts. Overall, season, mini-plan, individual game and group sales produced 67,693 tickets sold during the 2017-18 season. That was a single-season program record for gross ticket sales and represented a 75 percent increase since the development of the ticket sales department in the Ryan Center.

Student attendance has also been at an all-time high, as more than 25 percent of the 16,000+ students on campus have attended at least one game in the last three seasons.  Over that span, a record six games had more than 2,000 students in attendance.  In addition, Rhody Ruckus, the official student fan group, broke membership records with more than 1,000 members in 2017-18.