With the return of football to the Big Ten, Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel said his projected hit to the athletic department budget, while still large, is slightly less than what he had forecast last month.

Manuel said on the “Conqu’ring Heroes” podcast with Jon Jansen that posted Tuesday afternoon that the Big Ten’s decision to reinstate the football season and play eight games with a plus-one divisional crossover matchup will help cushion the blow of revenue losses triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Michigan opens the season at Minnesota on Saturday night then plays its first game at Michigan Stadium on Oct. 31 against Michigan State. Fans are not allowed to attend football games, which affects the home football gate, but having an abbreviated season will provide a pool of television money to be divided among conference schools.

Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel (Photo: David Guralnick, Detroit News)

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