Board OKs athletic pass cost increase

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School > Nelms says money goes back into the budget

By Tris DeRoma

Next year, families and adults looking to purchase a season pass to watch middle school and high school sports are going to being paying a little more for the experience.
The $50 adult pass will now be $75 and the $100 family passes (two adults two students) will be $125.
Athletic Director Vicki Nelms made the presentation before the school board recently, explaining to the board the reasons behind the increase.
“The money goes back to our budget, it helps us to take care of our athletic programs,” she told the board, adding that the department sells about 600 of the passes every year and that they make about $50,000 to $60,000 from the passes every year.
It was also pointed out in the presentation that if individuals or families did not use the passes, and they attended every event through the purchase of a single ticket, it would cost an adult individual or a family $755 a season, instead of $75, $125 respectively.
When asked by board member David Foster the reasons for the request, Nelms gave many.
“When we had the budget cuts several years ago, we took a hit like everybody else did,” Nelms said.
“We also had to start paying for three officials for every basketball game due to a state mandate, the officials also received an increase in the gas mileage so we had to take care of that and the overall bus costs.”
She also said the school is now responsible for paying for uniforms as well.
“Because of the School Equities Act, we now have to pay for the uniforms whereas in the past out teams raised the money on their own,” Nelms said. “Now we’re on a four-year rotation on all the uniforms, that money is paid for out of our gate money that we make.”
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Gene Schmidt later commented on the change, calling it “a small and justifiable increase.”
He said one of the bigger expenses of the athletic programs is the cost of transportation.
“This will help fund not only the upgrade and recycling of sports equipment but transportation,” he said, adding that the price of fuel has also hit the programs hard.
“We look for these programs to be self-sustaining, and the gate receipts gets us closer to that goal.”