School board raises sporting event ticket prices

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The price of sports is going up.

In order to help gain revenue for sports programs in the LincolnCounty School District, the school board voted Monday to increasethe ticket prices on all sports except high school football by onedollar.

The admission to all junior high sporting events will go from $2 to$3; baseball, softball and soccer will increase to $4 andbasketball will increase to $5. The ticket price for high schoolfootball was already set at $5.

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“When our people go off to other schools, they pay a higher ticketprice,” said Lincoln County School District Superintendent TerryBrister. “And the children at those other schools benefit from it.But when other people come here, they don’t pay it.”

The increases will go into effect in August for the 2008/2009school year.

The price hike, which had been discussed by the board in a previousmeeting, was necessary to keep some of the programsfunctioning.

The sports programs of every school in the district have beensuffering financially since the Mississippi High School ActivitiesAssociation drew up new districts for 1A football.

The new districts eliminated several in-county rivalries that hadgenerated substantial revenues for the schools’ sports programs.The new alignments also created large expenses by forcing somecounty schools to travel hundreds of miles, as far as the GulfCoast, to play new opponents.

The increase in ticket prices comes two weeks after the board votedto transfer money from the district maintenance budget into theactivities funds of two county schools.

At that meeting, Brister said the board would “bail them out” thistime, but a long-term solution would have to be found. The boardhopes the ticket price increase will stabilize the fundingsituation.

“An extra $1 per night at a high school football game, and 100people show up, that’s $100,” Brister said. “Raising the ticketprices will gain revenue and help our schools continue running thesports programs.”

The school board has long favored its cheaper-than-normal sportsadmissions as a way of catering to the home crowd. But without aticket price increase, some smaller sports programs could facecuts, Brister said.