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The Arizona Wildcats will open the 2019 season on Saturday night at Hawaii, and the financial stakes have never been higher. Spending on football has nearly tripled since 2004, with Wildcats coaches’ salaries surpassing both the Pac-12 and Power 5 conference averages.

Data obtained by the Star via the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics’ College Athletic Financial Information database paints a picture where both spending and revenue have increased, fueled in part by a lucrative media rights package with the Pac-12 Networks and money received from bowl games. The UA is using some of its revenue to enhance wellness options for Wildcats athletes and improving fan experiences at games.

Contact reporter Caitlin Schmidt at or 573-4191.

On Twitter: @caitlincschmidt.

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