The economics of high school football

Fitch Stadium, Aug. 28, 2015
Home stands at Fitch Falcon Stadium in Austintown.

AUSTINTOWN TWP, Ohio (WKBN) – The high school football season doesn’t just start with the flick of a switch. There’s a lot of time involved. And money.

Just ask Austintown Fitch Athletic Director Rob Conklin. He says, “I think we all take it for granted, but there’s no doubt about it. It’s an expensive venture. There’s a big investment in just putting the game on in hopes that we have a great turnout.”

The school pays for event and security staff at all of the home games. Plus, don’t forget the cost of running water and turning on the lights at the stadium.

All of the revenue generated at football games goes back to the athletic department. Part of the money is used to pay the bills for simply running the stadium. The rest goes to support other team sports.

According to Conklin, “We don’t generate any revenue from many of our sports; the majority of our sports. Those kids, just like our football team, need uniforms, need equipment, and need to travel from point A to point B. And all of those things cost money.”

So how about the revenue side? Admission fees for football games at Fitch are set by the All American Conference. It’s $6 for adults and $4 dollars for students. So for a family of four to walk in the gate and enjoy popcorn and drinks, it’s about $35.

Fitch band parent Bob Pope figures it’s worth it. “It’s just a little bit of cost but it goes a long way. To support the band, the fundraisers, the football team it’s well worth it. It’s a great Friday evening for the family.”

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