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LSU athletics losses top $80m due to COVID

The financial fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on collegiate athletics continues to become crystalized, and LSU's athletics program is the latest major program to reveal the impact of the virus that shuttered athletics and society alike for nearly 15 months. LSU has been hit particularly hard by the global virus.

The financial fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on collegiate athletics continues to become crystalized, and LSU's athletics program is the latest major program to reveal the impact of the virus that shuttered athletics and society alike for nearly 15 months.

According to reports Wednesday, including in the Baton Rouge Business Report, LSU athletics' programs suffered $81 million in losses due to the pandemic.

The Business Report also notes that LSU is not allowed to use federal aid to reduce that deficit.

Earlier this month, the University of Florida announced that it had absorbed some $54 million in coronavirus-related losses to the Gators' men's and women's athletics programs.

Last month, the Southeastern Conference – home to both the Gators and Tigers, as well as other 12 other Power 5 programs – announced it was distributing an additional $23 million per institution from its coffers to help offset the universal losses endured by each school.

Like every football program in both the college and professional ranks last fall, LSU saw its capacity limited for its home games. Tiger Stadium, the Death Valley home of the Tigers, usually packs out to more than 100,000 fans for each of LSU's eight regularly scheduled home dates; COVID-19 restrictions limited that number to a mere 25% in the abbreviated, SEC-only 2020 campaign.

Additionally, the Tigers saw their 2020 spring sports' seasons – including their powerhouse baseball program – cancelled.

The Business Report additionally noted that LSU's athletics had generated some $95 million in revenue the prior year, as Ed Orgeron and Joe Burrow were leading the Tigers' football program to a national championship.

LSU has already begun to work back to normal attendance procedures in its home venues; the Tigers allowed full capacity for all outdoor spring sporting events beginning in late April and is expected to return Tiger Stadium to its full capacity – 102,321 – for the '21 season.