An increase of nearly $6 million over last year's budget.
Florida also is receiving $6 million, which is going entirely to football and football related costs, in a royalty revenue for its Sept. 2 game against Michigan at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Win or lose (and for the record, I've said I think we'll beat Michigan this time given how much turnover they're experiencing on their roster), it looks like this weekend in Dallas is going to add a lot of value to our program. In addition to the monetary aspect, we'll be featured heavily in all of the discussions about the opening weekend match-ups (whereas if we were playing the typical nobody we wouldn't) and it should only enhance our recruiting efforts. I'd like to see our "off the field" and digital staff capitalize on this opportunity by creating a lot of great social media content to hype the weekend for recruits. Depending on our apparel contract situation, I'd love to see us bust out the Jordan pregame attire again for this one, as well (show Michigan that they aren't the only ones who can flash that valuable brand). In addition, another great idea would be only issuing sideline passes to alumni who are currently active in the NFL. It will force the announcers to make little side comments about their careers when the camera finds them between plays and reinforce our ability to be a pipeline to the next level for recruits watching at home (yes, they know the numbers but it sometimes makes an even stronger impact when they can visually see the NFL guys standing there wearing gear/chains/etc and reflecting a certain lifestyle that young recruits are hoping to attain one day...dumb, I know, but this is the mindset for a lot of these guys at this stage in their lives...hopefully they'll evolve deeper values as they mature).
Anyway, not to get too crazy, but those are just some thoughts to enhance that particular weekend even further.
With that great opening match-up, an incredibly loaded home schedule (may not see a year with such a great home slate for a while), recruiting beginning to catch fire, and the UAA increasing the budget, there's a lot to feel good about heading into 2017. Not to mention this might finally be the year we solve the riddle of our QB/offense situation. I will gladly pay an increase in my ticket pricing if it means more competitive recruiting, big time scheduling such as this, and a more entertaining product overall. Not that it was ever in bad shape or at serious risk, per se, but the Florida Football brand is poised to make some major leaps back to relevance in these next few years if current trends continue. I b-tch a lot, but we finally seem to have gained some traction on the right path, folks.