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Attendance Issues

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When I see "High School students should be free.." I see a statement that is true but is the product of far greater issues.

 

As KY continues to fail to keep state funding relative to inflation and demands of schools, school districts continue to feel the crunch and every dime becomes critical. The first places that this hits are the peripheral aspects of schools such as early childhood education, transportation, and extracurriculars.

 

As a result, school districts tell schools that when it comes to sports, the schools can expect little to no help on the funding. In other words, "Pay for it yourselves." Hence, almost every HS in KY has athletic budgets that are 75% driven by the football and basketball gates.

 

Compound this with less adults coming to games for many reasons already listed and you have a critical need for every spectator's dollar. That means if you have to give up a crowd of 300 students who haven't paid for a crowd of 150 students who HAVE paid in order to make sure that 65 players playing are able to be safe in good equipment and that the mower that keeps the grass cut gets repaired, then so be it.

 

That is why schools charge students. It ain't to make a buck. It's to survive.

Edited by VF111

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I have talked to several Boyle County fans who made most or all of the home games the last several years staying home on cold nights this year because the games are now all streamed. Boyle Co. fans have been spoiled for a while now but this is definitely hurting the home crowds this year.

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Maybe see the thread on running clocks?

 

Does competitiveness (or lack thereof) impact attendance - for both team fans? And this is not a knock on the format - just an observations of a potential correlating factor.

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Maybe see the thread on running clocks?

 

Does competitiveness (or lack thereof) impact attendance - for both team fans? And this is not a knock on the format - just an observations of a potential correlating factor.

 

I think it does play a factor. It's a lot more fun to attend a game that you think will be a competitive clash than a blowout.

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I used to get irritated with UK's Friday night cupcake games during HS playoffs. It was pointed out that doing this when there is a home football games gives traveling Big Blue fans a two-fer weekend.

 

But I do believe this impacts attendance around the Lexington area to some extent. It may be worse now that UK is not filling Rupp for these type of games. So the HSers can get cheap tickets before games. So maybe somewhat of a domino effect in sport attendance reductions.

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When I see "High School students should be free.." I see a statement that is true but is the product of far greater issues.

 

As KY continues to fail to keep state funding relative to inflation and demands of schools, school districts continue to feel the crunch and every dime becomes critical. The first places that this hits are the peripheral aspects of schools such as early childhood education, transportation, and extracurriculars.

 

As a result, school districts tell schools that when it comes to sports, the schools can expect little to no help on the funding. In other words, "Pay for it yourselves." Hence, almost every HS in KY has athletic budgets that are 75% driven by the football and basketball gates.

 

Compound this with less adults coming to games for many reasons already listed and you have a critical need for every spectator's dollar. That means if you have to give up a crowd of 300 students who haven't paid for a crowd of 150 students who HAVE paid in order to make sure that 65 players playing are able to be safe in good equipment and that the mower that keeps the grass cut gets repaired, then so be it.

 

That is why schools charge students. It ain't to make a buck. It's to survive.

 

Excellent analysis @VF111 but the overarching message to the "powers that be" in Kentucky is this modus operandi is unsustainable.

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It's not just high school football that is seeing a decline in attendance. Almost all spectator sports are having trouble putting butts in the seats. Major league baseball, the NBA, NACAR even the mighty NFL are seeing more and more empty seats. I am a big motorsports fan and the Nascar race at Kentucky Speedway this year was maybe 50% full. The NHRA U.S. Nationals used to be standing room only for 3 of the 5 days of the event and this year you had more empty seats than occupied ones.

 

Competition for our entertainment dollar is taking its toll on all these sports and more. One thing I have not seen mentioned is a lack of interest buy the younger generations. Growing up with all the electronic stimuli they have at there disposal is changing what people do for relaxation and entertainment.

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Too many options everywhere, all at your fingertips if desired. All levels Even NFL having same attendance issue. Sad but don’t know how you combat it in today’s digital world.

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So, here’s the $64000 question, already discussed to some degree by @VF111. If football (and basketball here in KY) are the primary sources of revenue generated by high school athletics - and if attendance is in steep decline...are secondary sports in danger of hitting the chopping block? Or will it be other extracurricular stuff?

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When I see "High School students should be free.." I see a statement that is true but is the product of far greater issues.

 

As KY continues to fail to keep state funding relative to inflation and demands of schools, school districts continue to feel the crunch and every dime becomes critical. The first places that this hits are the peripheral aspects of schools such as early childhood education, transportation, and extracurriculars.

 

As a result, school districts tell schools that when it comes to sports, the schools can expect little to no help on the funding. In other words, "Pay for it yourselves." Hence, almost every HS in KY has athletic budgets that are 75% driven by the football and basketball gates.

 

Compound this with less adults coming to games for many reasons already listed and you have a critical need for every spectator's dollar. That means if you have to give up a crowd of 300 students who haven't paid for a crowd of 150 students who HAVE paid in order to make sure that 65 players playing are able to be safe in good equipment and that the mower that keeps the grass cut gets repaired, then so be it.

 

That is why schools charge students. It ain't to make a buck. It's to survive.

 

What percentage of the crowd at a high school football game is students? 10-15%? If they are surviving because of charging students, then they need to make major cuts elsewhere. Students should not be charged to go to high school sporting events. Period.

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McPapa I guess we can always go back to bake sales, car washes, restaurant fund raisers, mulch sales, discount cards, clean up projects,....oh, wait, people are still doing those. As an old teacher, coach, and official I really hate to see this declining trend. Of course I am as guilty as many people by limiting my attendance.

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What percentage of the crowd at a high school football game is students? 10-15%? If they are surviving because of charging students, then they need to make major cuts elsewhere. Students should not be charged to go to high school sporting events. IPeriod.

 

 

Okay. Which secondary sports do you want to cut? Particularly at small schools, they rely on gate attendance at football and boys basketball games to fund baseball, golf, tennis, etc.

 

For about half of my teaching career, I’ve been a member of the Site Based Decision Making council at my school (two in my career). I’ve been privy to the costs, gate receipts, fundraising and other information. In many instances, it’s a worry year to year on how to balance it all.

 

In theory, I agree that letting in students for free would be great. In practice, it wouldn’t work for most public schools.

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Okay. Which secondary sports do you want to cut? Particularly at small schools, they rely on gate attendance at football and boys basketball games to fund baseball, golf, tennis, etc.

 

For about half of my teaching career, I’ve been a member of the Site Based Decision Making council at my school (two in my career). I’ve been privy to the costs, gate receipts, fundraising and other information. In many instances, it’s a worry year to year on how to balance it all.

 

In theory, I agree that letting in students for free would be great. In practice, it wouldn’t work for most public schools.

 

Thanks for your insight.

 

I’m sure my opinion may be an unpopular one, but I’d rather cut smaller sports than charge students to get in games. Every school doesn’t need to offer every sport. As I alluded to earlier, I don’t thinks schools are making that much off students anyway, but I could be wrong.

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Thanks for your insight.

 

I’m sure my opinion may be an unpopular one, but I’d rather cut smaller sports than charge students to get in games. Every school doesn’t need to offer every sport. As I alluded to earlier, I don’t thinks schools are making that much off students anyway, but I could be wrong.

I would say that attendance percentage make-up would differ from school to school, but let’s say that it is 100 students in a 500 student school. At $5 per student x 5 games, that’s $2500...or the budget of baseball or boys/girls golf and tennis. That budget just pays some of the bills. They have to fundraiser the rest.

 

Research shows that commitment to at least one extracurricular activity greatly improves a student’s chances of graduating. In addition, the value of teamwork and competition that is learned is a major reason why I choose cross country over letting student spectators in free.

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