ISU Athletic Department Discussing Layoffs, Cutting Sports, Closing Stephens Auditorium to Close Budget Shortfall

National News

Ames, Iowa — The prospects of a football season played without fans at Jack Trice Stadium will nearly double Iowa State University’s athletic budget deficit and that means more big cuts will follow, according to Director of Athletics Jamie Pollard.

In a letter addressed to ‘Cyclone fans’ published on Friday, Pollard says the Athletics Department already faced a $17 million dollar budget deficit before the decision was made to keep fans away from Jack Trice Stadium next weekend. Pollard says if the rest of the season plays out without fans, the deficit will grow to $30 million.

To close that gap, Pollard is recommending three cost-saving measures be considered:

  1. More layoffs and payroll deductions
  2. Eliminating sports according to Title IX laws
  3. Closing C.Y. Stephens Auditorium

Pollards says the department has already implemented a 10% pay cut for most coaches and staff and suspended all coaching bonuses and incentives. However deeper payroll cuts will be need to be made, he says, including further payroll reductions and possible layoffs.

A more permanent option for cost-savings is the elimination of sports. While Pollard says it won’t save money immediately, cutting entire sports out of the program will provide ongoing savings. The University of Iowa has already announced a list of sports that will be cut at the end of this year.

Pollard is also recommending the immediate closure of C.Y. Stephens’ Auditorium and the cancellation of any future shows. He says the facility has been operating at a deficit of nearly $1 million annually. On top of that, he says the building is in need of up to $50 million dollars in renovations.

Pollard closed the letter asking fans for understanding and continued support as the school considers major changes:

“These are difficult times, but it is our reality. We fully recognize these options will spark further emotion in our campus community, fan base and department.   That is why we worked so hard to do everything possible in order to have fans at football games. In the end, the decision was that the risks to the community were simply too great to have fans in attendance. We understand and support that decision.  However, we now must face the challenges and consequences that stem from that decision.”

Jamie Pollard
Iowa State Univeristy Director of Athletics

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