empty football stands

(6-23-20) What will Ohio High Schools face this fall when the football season is scheduled to start? The first football game is just a little over two months away on August 30th, with scrimmages around the state starting on August 10th.

The following Ohio High School Athletic Association five page document – Summer Recommendations – is posted on the OHSAA web site. The document has all three phase requirements listed to follow.


This one stands out as schools prepare for the fall-

Until there is a cure, vaccine, or effective treatment is readily available, social distancing and other preventative measures will be the‘new normal’ during any aspect of sport in Ohio. (from introduction section)

Area Superintendents of schools were asked to comment to our email questions on the situation –

Your thoughts on what a limited number of fans or no fans in the stands would do to the athletic budget at your school?

With the recent budget cuts by the Governor given to districts, it would seem this might enhance the issue.

Daniel B. Holland  – Superintendent , Fort Loramie Local Schools

The obvious issue for our small district will be the negative effect this will have on the Athletic Department budget. At this point, we have not been able to do any type of ticket sales, especially season ticket/reserved seating for football or any of our season pass sales. Typically, this is completed in the spring.

Just as important, limiting fan attendance has a detrimental effect on our student athletes. We are proud of our teams and the community supports our students efforts on the field and court, so not having anyone who wants to attend, be able to, negatively affects them.

Any budget cut is detrimental. Our community has supported our school district and it is unfair for any additional burden to be placed on them. I was disappointed in the Governor’s cuts and hope that the cuts for the next fiscal year will be less drastic.

Dr. Kenneth J. Schmiesing, Superintendent of Celina City Schools

We, at Celina City Schools, anticipate that we will return to school in the fall as close to “normal” as possible.  With the announcement that the Mercer County Fair is set to operate in August, we anticipate that the school year will also begin with students in class beginning August 26, 2020.

We will continue to make our decisions in cooperation with the Mercer County Health Department. Our seniors and their parents asked that we wait and hold an in-person Graduation and we are set to do so this weekend with our time set for an 8:00 p.m. start on Friday evening, 6-26-2020. The rain date is for Saturday morning, 6-27-2020 at 10:30 a.m. We will hold this at the football stadium and will have our graduates, staff and audience seated with the social distancing guidelines which have been approved by Mercer County Health Department.

We anticipate receiving further guidance from the Ohio Department of Education, the Ohio High School Athletic Association and the Department of Health regarding the start of the fall athletic season and the beginning of the 2020-2021school year. We are optimistic that the information shared will allow us to have local control in our decision making process so that we can do what is best for our students, our staff and our community.

Thank you,

Aaron Rex – Superintendent of Wapakoneta City Schools
Based upon what has been happening around Ohio and the state now allowing more interactions, I feel good about where we are going in terms of sports. With local fairs taking place, people being allowed in grandstands, spectators at open gyms or inter-squad scrimmages, I think we will have events in the fall with fans. It may not be at full capacity, but how many schools fill all of their grandstands at each game?

Our stadium holds over 5000 people in the bleachers and more that could stand. If we can have half the capacity we should still be in good shape. We need football income to help support the rest of the sports at our school so this is very important. In addition, our community just donated close to two million dollars to construct a new home side grandstand.

We are looking forward to the start of school and fall sports.

Go Redskins,

J Chris Pfister – Superintendent of Waynesfield-Goshen Local Schools

You hit the nail square on the head.

Football revenue is 72% of all Fall Sports revenue at W-G.

Therefore, a reduced or no fan policy would require transferring funds from the general fund. Obviously, depending on what the state order is at that time, it could be a big hit for us. But is out of our control and if allowed we will compete…and follow the order.

Football and basketball produce 67% of the revenue of all of our annual athletic budget.If there are issues in the winter it will really be a problem.

Not much else I can say or do at this time…just take it state order by state order.

Thank you, Chris

Mike Pohlman – Marion Local Superintendent

This is tough to answer since at this time we are uncertain of the future of sports. Depending on the severity of limited fans, our athletic budget would be hurt. At this time we can’t even guess since we haven’t received any definite answers.

Julie Garke – Minster Superintendent

At this time, it is too early to speculate athletically where we will be in the fall.  We are still awaiting guidance for the start of our school year.

Jason Wood  – Superintendent of Coldwater EVSD 

We are hopeful to have a normal school year. We will know more in the coming weeks.

Thank you

EDITOR’S NOTEThanks to all of the Stateline area Superintendents who responded and took time to reply to us on this issue.

Last fall when Ohio State played Northwestern in a Friday night Big 10 football game, concerns by AD’s around the state about the financial impact on their programs.

The loss of income from five home football games, could have a lasting impact for a long time.