College Softball Revenues Compared to other Sports

Anyone at least a little bit familiar with the sport of college softball knows that both in ratings and revenue College Softball is growing at a rapid rate. Softball is the fastest-growing NCAA sport now with a 339.6% revenue increase in recent years. A lot of that is thanks to the growing tv time the sport is getting thanks to ESPN and all of its many college related channels.

Finding current numbers for softball’s revenue numbers due to covid wrecking havoc on recent seasons is very hard. The only records I could find go back to pre-2019 years. I used the information found in those reports to help put this piece together.

Men’s Football is the big dog when it comes to revenue producing college sports. It brings in $31.9 million per school per year. Just how big is that number? That is more then the next 30 college sports combined bring in revenue.

Next is Men’s Basketball which reportedly brings in over $8. million in revenue per school. Thanks a lot in part to the big tv money from March Madness.

Number three on the top revenue list surprised me being Men’s Hockey.The sport brings in an estimated $2.5 million per school.

Next up is Men’s Baseball producing $1.25 million per school.

Some reports indicate that softball now stands as the NCAA’s fourth-highest revenue generating sport but the last records I could find show that data collected by the Department of Education in a report from 2017-18 (the last year data is available for college softball programs) that they made $500,000 in revenue. I have read in some unofficial places though that softball’s revenue is actually closer to 1.5 million now which would put them in the 4th spot for revenue-producing college sports.

Lets move on now to just how much does it cost to field a college softball team? Some of the major cost include, team travel, equipment, salaries, contract services, operating expenses, and promotional activities to name some of the cost that are associated with running a college softball program.

Here are the last numbers I could find for what teams spent the most on their programs.The average cost for D1 softball programs was $876,272. The University of Oklahoma was the only institution with an average over $3 million. With all of the Sooner’s softball success most people would probably say it was money well spent. School’s with over $2 million of operating expenses include, Florida, Auburn, Michigan, LSU, and Washington. Also perennial powerhouses in college softball.

That’s what I could find out when it came to college softball finances. Hopefully the numbers are pretty accurate even though I had to go years back to find any usable data.

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