School spirit…the support and applause from fellow students should make any athlete feel empowered and pumped up to give their all in their sport, which is why it should be encouraged for students to attend games. However, should students have to pay to get into Arkansas High home games? After all, it seems only right that students shouldn’t have to pay to get into their own school’s games. Most likely there would be a greater turnout of students that would come to support the school, increasing school spirit and building the student section. Regardless of how pretty this picture is, it’s not that easy of a decision.
There are a lot of factors to be considered. For one, the revenue from the tickets goes to the athletic department to pay for athletic equipment, as well as to run athletic events. According to Coach Angela Moody, the head girls track coach, The cost of putting on games increases through the years, so the price of tickets does as well. In the past few years, the cost of tickets has remained the same, but this year for instance, the Texas vs. Arkansas tickets have increased to 10 dollars for general admission and 5 dollars for students. So, which is a better option? Clearly, it’s all a matter of what outweighs the other: A better school turnout at the games or more money for the school.
After sitting down with some students at Arkansas High, I received a wide-range of feedback. Redline Lieutenant, Hannah Chapman, said that students should have to pay to get into games. She said personally for Redline, “the people who did not have to pay to get into the Spring Show caused Redline to lose money.” Makenna Ivey, who plays on the varsity soccer and volleyball team, said, “I believe that students that attend Arkansas High should not have to pay to get into varsity games. I do believe that parents and students from other schools should have to pay because this will benefit the athletic program by helping pay for equipment and uniforms.” Agreeing with both views, volleyball player, Megan Holder, made a suggestion that met both views in the middle. She said that she believed that all student athletes should not have to pay to get into games. “If you’re in a sport, you should be able to support other athletes without paying.” Megan said that all other students should pay as a way for the school to make money, but that they should still get a discount, which they do, since they are Arkansas High students.
Other students don’t agree with the athletic pass. Freshman Tyler Chancellor who plays the baritone in the band, said, “It doesn’t make sense to me for football players to get in free for a basketball game.” Senior, David Sanders, said that all students should get a discount. “I think most of the profits come from parents anyways.”
Another way to reward students and give them a goal to reach is by using a method similar to a gold card. What if students who met a certain criteria received free tickets? Texas High does something similar to this. In football, the usual amount for students is three dollars, but it is eight dollars for general admission. However, certain students can go into the game for free if they show their ID. If there became too many students who met the criteria, then the standards could be moved higher. This would keep the number of free tickets at a reasonable amount.
After considering all these options, I wanted to know the athletic director Coach Barry Norton’s view on the matter. He said that he really wants a supportive and spirited student section this year, but that the tickets should not be free. He brought up the idea of an athletic pass where students who are in athletics receive some sort of benefit. However, Norton said that if the students were “not taking care of business” that the pass should get taken away. For example, if students who had the athletic pass weren’t meeting standards for grades, conduct, or as an athlete, they would get the pass taken away. Overall, Coach Norton said he was open to “anything that would promote school spirit.”
Clearly, there are a lot of options when it comes to how the cost of tickets should be decided. Should the school give athletic passes or academic passes to get into the games for free, or should the current way remain where each student receives a discount? Just think, what is the price for school spirit?