Missouri football will return to Arrowhead Stadium in 2024.
First-year athletic director Jim Sterk confirmed Wednesday that the Tigers’ scheduled home game against Boston College in seven years would be moved to Kansas City.
Mizzou plays at Boston College in 2021 as part of a two-game series announced last October.
Sterk said he isn’t opposed occasionally to moving games off campus to the state of Missouri’s largest population centers, including plans to resume a series against Illinois in St. Louis.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Kansas City Star
“I’ve had discussions with (Fighting Illini athletic director) Josh Whitman about playing Illinois in St. Louis, but we haven’t gotten a date,” Sterk said.
During an appearance at the Tiger Club of Kansas City Golf Tournament two weeks ago, Sterk also said he’s interested in restarting the Border War with Kansas.
However, he noted Wednesday that he’s never had a dialogue with Jayhawks athletic director Sheahon Zenger about the possibility.
“I have not gotten anywhere,” Sterk said, “as far as Kansas or Kansas State on football there in Kansas City.”
The Boston College game is something of a makeup game for Arrowhead Stadium after the last game in Kansas City — against BYU in November 2015 — failed to meet revenue expectations in the wake of a brief boycott by Tigers players earlier in the week that threatened to cancel the game.
According to the licensing agreement for the BYU game, Mizzou received $3.5 million from Arrowhead Events for the BYU game, which only drew an announced crowd of 42,824 after the tumultuous week.
Speaking of revenue, Missouri enjoyed a record-shattering fiscal year on the fundraising front under Sterk’s leadership.
The athletic department announced Wednesday that more than 7,000 donors combined to give $50.4 million for the Tiger Scholarship Fund in 2016-17.
That figure includes money donated for the proposed new football facility in the south end zone at Memorial Stadium, a $95 million project that has attracted $49 million in donations to date.
Sterk hopes the project will be approved by the University of Missouri System Board of Curators next month.
“It will be sometime this summer hopefully we get that thing done,” said Sterk, who said construction should begin shortly after Mizzou football’s 2017 season ends.
The Tigers’ previous single-year record for donations was $45.7 in 2011-12, the first year MU moved into the Southeastern Conference.
It’s the fifth year in program history the Tigers topped $30 million in donations, including four — with $32.3 million in 2012-13 and $31.4 million in 2013-14 — since leaving the Big 12.
Missouri raised a then-record $39.4 million during the 2001-02 fiscal year.
Buoyed by a school-record 11 seven-figure gifts this year, the Tigers increased year-over-year giving by 129 percent in Sterk’s first year after raising only $21.96 million during 2015-16.
Sterk credited MU deputy athletic director for external relations Brian White and senior associate athletic director for development Ryan Alpert, who’s in charge of the Tiger Scholarship Fund, for a systematic approach to boosting the annual fund and improving fan engagement.
Tickets sales for men’s basketball are expected to spike significantly after Cuonzo Martin was hired in March and he signed a buzz-worthy recruiting class, which includes 2017 top prospect Michael Porter Jr.
Missouri, which averaged fewer than 60,000 for football games last season for the first time since 2006, has sold roughly 21,000 season tickets plus another 2,400 student tickets, which is double the number purchased at this time last season.
The Tigers sold at least 42,166 football season tickets during each of its first four years in the SEC, but that dropped to 36,954 last fall on the heels of a dismal 5-7 campaign in 2015, which featured the brief player boycott and longtime coach Gary Pinkel’s retirement.