NJSIAA budget projected to break even in 2013-14

NJSIAA budget projected to break even in 2013-14

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NJSIAA budget projected to break even in 2013-14

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ROBBINSVILLE

The NJSIAA is projecting to break even financially for the 2013-14 school year, according to a budget submitted by NJSIAA business administrator Gary Zarrilli.

The $5,221,010 budget was unanimously approved Wednesday by the NJSIAA Executive Committee in the committee’s final meeting of the 2012-13 school year. The budget is $168,420 less than this past year. None of the NJSIAA’s 32 state championship tournaments will be affected.

NJSIAA executive director Steve Timko said it is the first time since the 2005-06 school year it has projected a budget without a deficit.

“It’s the effort of everybody on staff,” Timko said. “We’ve made a number of significant cuts over the course of the last four to five years.”

“We’re looking at ways to be creative. We have to without relying on (tournament) ticket prices,” said Zarrilli, who has been with the NJSIAA since March 2011.

Zarrilli is referring to a ticket pricing law that went into effect on Jan. 29, 2010. That law, authored by Assemblyman John Burzichelli (D-Gloucester), states the NJSIAA can not charge more for state tournament events held at scholastic venues than what it does during the regular season.

The NJSIAA can appeal to the commissioner of education to charge up to 200 percent above regular season prices for adults when events are held at independent venues like collegiate facilities, or arenas like Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.

NJSIAA officials have long maintained Burzichelli’s law is why it suffered decreases in revenue of $457,628 in 2009-10 and $263,924 in 2010-11, according to Zarrilli. Zarrilli said the NJSIAA had just a $33,692 decrease in revenue in 2011-12.

Zarrilli said the NJSIAA still had a surplus of $638,000 as of June 30, 2012 and he did not expect this past year to eat too much into that.

The last time the NJSIAA did not have a decrease in revenue was in 2008-09, when it had an increase of $9,624, according to Zarrilli.

Burzichelli started criticizing the NJSIAA’s spending practices in 2005. The NJSIAA had decreases in revenue in 2004-05, 2005-06, 2006-07 and 2007-08.

Among the cost savings the NJSIAA has implemented in its 2013-14 budget are as follows:

* The association will no longer print championship program booklets beginning in 2013-14. According to Zarrilli, that will result in a savings of $250,000.

“You’ll be able to get them off our new website,” Timko said. “Now, we’re going utilize technology and save money at the same time. New Jersey is not unique to doing this. There are a lot of other states that are doing the same thing.”

The NJSIAA’s 32 district wrestling tournaments have been eliminated from the budget due to a decision implemented for the 2012-13 season to have the schools that host those tournaments take on all the financial responsibility for running those them. That has resulted in a minimum savings of $40,000, according to Zarrilli.

The 2013-14 school year will be the first year host schools for the second and third rounds of the state basketball tournament will take on all the financial responsibility for those games.

“Schools have been totally cooperative in picking up the districts and the first three rounds of basketball,” Timko said.

The association also utilized Request for Proposals (RFPS) in the 2012-13 budget when it came to sociliting bids for venues to host the wrestling and outdoor track and field championships. The NJSIAA plans to have RFPS completed for football and basketball, as needed.

“When you look at the RFPS for Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City (the site of the NJSIAA Individual Wrestling Championships), it included total costs, which other contracts that we had for venues did not include. I’ll use police as one. Water as another one and other expenses that we may have. It’s all part of one bottom line expense for NJSIAA,” Timko said. “The same thing happened in track. We ended up with very good savings on the eight sectional track meets. We’re not paying above what they said our costs are going to be.”

In its budget for the 2012-13 school year, the NJSIAA had projected a loss of $408,965. Zarilli said the actual loss for this school year will be nowhere near that. Final figures will not be available until an audit is done in August.

“We’re optimistic we’re going to do much better (than the projected loss), if not favorable,” Zarilli said. “It all depends on the spring season.”

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