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Published in Print: December 4, 2002, as Texas District Eyes Extra Fee For Football Tickets

Texas District Eyes Extra Fee For Football Tickets

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Add this to the list of ways high school athletics are mimicking big-time college and professional sports: A Texas school district is considering charging $50 per season for seat licenses in its football stadium.

The licenses would provide the buyer with the mere right to purchase season tickets for a specific seat. The per-game ticket price would be extra.

At Carroll Senior High School in Southlake, Texas, the number of fans willing to buy season tickets exceeds the number of prime seats available.

In fact, the Dragons football team is so popular that the 7,300-student Carroll district built a new stadium that seats more than 4,000 spectators.

But only 1,621 of those are so-called "green seats," which are in the center section and are reserved for season-ticket holders. The waiting list includes 158 families who are seeking a total of 548 seats in that section.

Proposed Price Hike

The district formed a task force to study the issue because of the perception that it took years on the waiting list to get tickets and that some families were getting favored treatment.

As the task force's recent report put it: "The joke was that you had to get your name on the list when you first conceived a child in order to have a seat when your child was ready to attend high school."

The panel recommended Nov. 13 that season-ticket prices be increased from $12 to $15 per game. The panel also recommended that seat licenses be introduced at $50 a year or $90 for three years, and that the waiting list be abolished after a transition period.

Those recommendations will now be considered by the school board.

Such licenses are just one of several ways in which high schools are copying trends at higher levels of athletics.

Last summer, Vernon Hills High School in Illinois sold the naming rights to its new football stadium to a locally based paint manufacturer, creating Rust-Oleum Field.

"With the increased tightness in school budgets, athletic directors are going to be more creative in getting funds," said Mark Cousins of the University Interscholastic League, the governing body for school sports in Texas.

Vol. 22, Issue 14, Page 3

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