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The Lake News Online
  • Money and sports

  • Both of these aspects of society are huge parts of life in Missouri and inseparable from each other
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  • It’s indisputable that on the professional and collegiate level in the United States, sports are a business first.
    To some degree, that’s also true of prep sports.
    The numbers that collegiate, prep and professional teams which call the state of Missouri home deal in as far as conducting their business goes are beyond the realm of what most of us deal with in managing our personal  and/or business budgets, but the principles are much the same. We’re all looking to establish and maintain a healthy flow of funds.
    The best examples of big money dealings are Missouri’s six big-name professional franchises.
    The most lucrative of the six is the St. Louis Cardinals of Major League Baseball. Their most recent financial statement reported an operating income of over $65 million. Operating income is defined as a company's income from the goods and services it provides, less its operating expenses and depreciation. The operating income does not include losses from interest payments or income tax.
    Not everything is so rosey when it comes to professional sports here in Missouri, however. While the Cardinals seem to be raking in the dough, their annual I-70 series rival the Kansas City Royals haven’t been enjoying such success. The Royals reported an operating loss of $6.5 million in their last financial statement. Operating loss is defined as the state in which a company's operating expenses exceed its income for a given period of time. It can also be stated as a negative operating income.
    Missouri’s four other professional teams fall in between those two ends of the spectrum as shown in the box on this page.
    There are other professional sports teams who are part of smaller leagues, such as the Springfield Cardinals and Missouri Mavericks, who add to the pool of sport organizations in the state.
    Moving the scale of economics closer to home and more comprehensible to most private citizens, a complete evaluation of sports in Missouri also demands an overview of the state’s college athletics.
    The University of Missouri’s athletic department reported a $4 million budget surplus in its last report.
    Like on the professional level, there are numerous other colleges and universities in the state of Missouri who also partake in athletics. Their impact, while not as large as Missouri’s, can’t be overlooked as meaningless.
    Bringing this discussion even closer to how and where we live here on the lake, prep sports have a strong commercial and financial element to them as well.
    To see an example of the financial impact that prep sports play, all one needs do is examine the approved administrative budget for the upcoming school year for Camdenton School District.
    Page 2 of 3 - A line on the itemized receipts section of the budget lists “student activities” as one of the items that the district expects to receive revenue from. Clearly “student activities” aren’t limited to merely athletics, but athletics would constitute the majority of this category. The district’s budget expects to receive $550,000 in gross revenue from this item in the next fiscal year.
    Of course, expenses have to be paid out of that revenue just like you and I have to pay our bills out of our income. Camdenton’s budget is specific as to how much it expects to spend on athletics.
    The budget calls for a sum of $250,000 to go to “high school athletics,” another $15,000 toward high school cheerleading, $14,000 to athletic boosters, $10,000 to “middle school athletics,” $2,500 to trap shooting and $500 to middle school cheerleading.
    Adding up those expenses gives a sum of $292,000.  The simple math would then give the district an operating income of  $258,000 ($550,000 minus $292,000). It’s not that simple, however. The revenue generated by “student activities,” which once again include more than just athletics, doesn’t all go to paying for athletics. Additionally, there are expenses for other programs like FFA and National Honor Society built into the budget which part of those “student activity” funds will go toward.
    The virtue of the marriage of money and sports can be debated. Proponents rightly argue that it provides job and brings tourists into Missouri. Opponents say that it diverts the dollars of school districts, government entities and private citizens away from other things that they deem to be more deserving.
    Whether for better, worse, or a mixture of the two sports are inseparable from the economy here in Missouri.
    Prep sports mean big revenue for businesses
    Prep sports not only mean dollars for schools and their employees, but for local businesses as well.
    A prime example of such a situation is a Camdenton restaurant. Model T, which opened in March, is going to be the new meeting spot this fall for Friday nights after Laker football games.
    “The boosters wanted to find a local business where they could have the after party. We are located very close to Bob Shore Stadium. The boosters are going to set up a grandstand and the radio stations will be doing interviews. We are very excited about it,” McCrory said.
    The boost will allow the business to stay open year-round according to McCrory. The menu will also be changing to accomodate the extra traffic.
    “We’re hoping to get involved with some of the other sports as well. This town revolves around Laker football. It’s great for the community and the bottom line,” McCrory added.
    Page 3 of 3 - Operating incomes
    St. Louis Cardinals
    $65 million
    St. Louis Rams
    $21 million
    Kansas City Chiefs
    $15 million
    Sporting Kansas City
    $5 million
    St. Louis Blues
    $-2.5 million
    Kansas City Royals
    $-6.5 million

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