Going from renting a football stadium to building and owning one means big changes in the amount of money Florida Atlantic will be dealing with when the stadium opens this fall.
But it could also mean millions in profits if FAU can meet its revenue goals.
When FAU was renting Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, the cost per year was $390,000 for its five home games.
That will mushroom to $1.17 million when the Owls play on the Boca Raton campus in the 30,000-seat, $70 million stadium now under construction.
But revenues will also increase, from $2.2 million in the past budget year to $7.3 million in 2011-2012.
FAU will be carefully tracking revenues since it has established targets it needs to hit in order to make its annual debt payments of about $2.6 million per year to pay off the $45.5 million the university borrowed over the 30-year length of the loan.
"We were conservative," said Dennis Crudele, FAU senior vice president for financial affairs, who put together the proposed budget for the stadium.
And if all goes well, FAU's athletic department, which has barely been able to break even year after year, could generate a profit of $3.8 million according to its latest budget projection.
Here are some of FAU's revenue targets for the stadium:
•Ticket sales: $1.78 million, which includes 11,875 paid attendance at $25 per ticket, plus eight high school games with 5,000 attendance at $5 per ticket.
•Advertisement and sponsorships: $736,000. FAU earned $226,738 in this area in 2009-10.
•Concessions: $736,000. FAU had been earning $75,000 on concessions per year.
•Away game guarantees: $1 million. The Owls will continue to have to play road games against major conference opponents to meet this figure.
•Student fees: Five percent of the fees now collected will go toward the stadium, an amount estimated at $467,483. Student fees now make up most of FAU's athletic budget, $9.5 million of the $15.7 million.
FAU Athletic Director Craig Angelos said he is confident the stadium targets will be met.
"We purposely were conservative because we wanted to be sure we lived within our budget," Angelos said.
"It's amazing," Crudele said about seeing the stadium move from paper to reality.
The stadium is scheduled to open Oct. 15 and construction is on schedule.
"If we hit our numbers, we will be able to put money back in the general fund," Angelos said.
That would help replace the $20.3 million FAU scraped together as part a $25 million down payment on the stadium.