Unfortunately, all the charcoal grills, body paint and car magnets in the world won't buy jerseys, pay for stadium renovations and fund scholarships. Football can be a very expensive sport, and sometimes ticket and merchandise sales aren't enough to cover a program's operating costs, particularly at smaller universities. In 2008, just 25 of the 119 college teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division 1-A) reported a budget surplus. The other 94 teams operated with an average budget deficit of $9.87 million [source: Moltz]. If donors don't step up to close this budget gap, these schools must take money from their general operating funds to pay for football. For this reason, universities are always appealing to alumni and others in the community for monetary gifts, so donating is an excellent way to support your favorite program.
Donating isn't the only way to support a team financially; you can also buy season tickets. Teams like supporters to buy season tickets because it guarantees that a seat will be paid for all year, whether or not the fan attends all the games. As a thank you to both season ticket holders and donors, teams often provide these supporters with choice seats, reserved parking and other perks on game day.