(10-7-20) This week the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) caught the attention of high school football fans and administrators…$12.00 ticket prices (Tickets for state semifinals will be $15) for the upcoming Regional games and will be sold electronically through Hometown Tickets. In the past a portion of ticket pre-sales went back to the schools…not this year.

The ticket price increase surprised everyone, in an earlier release in September standard ticket prices for Regional games were announced as $8, same as last season.

This week the board met and one of the topics was the budget, the following was released in the update and explains the need to raise capital –

The board approved the 2020-21 OHSAA budget, which includes a projected $1.3 million deficit due to decreased spectators permitted at tournament contests. The OHSAA continues to explore cost saving measures and is working toward reducing that deficit as much as possible in order to continue providing services to member schools, its 26 sanctioned sports, and more than 15,000 contest officials.

Earlier moves to help keep the the OHSAA in business in the future were announced in early September

Presale Ticket Shares/Bonuses: Football and basketball presale ticket shares/bonuses will not be paid out to member schools participating in 2020-21 OHSAA tournaments

Team Tournament Expenses: No team expenses will be paid to member schools participating in 2020-21 OHSAA tournaments.

Tournament Entry Fees: $25 tournament entry fees will be incorporated for the following sports: boys and girls bowling; boys and girls golf; gymnastics; boys and girls cross country; boys and girls tennis; boys and girls track & field, and boys and girls swimming & diving. As OHSAA “emerging” sports, boys and girls lacrosse will continue to have a $100 fee per gender.

Other Fees: Bowling tournament lane fees and golf tournament greens fees will not be paid by the OHSAA in 2020-21.

None of the above items had school approval in any way, they were all put in place by the board.

In April the OHSAA applied for federal funding under the U.S. coronavirus relief bill known as the CARES Act and that allowed for no furloughs or cut backs in staff.

After the change in leadership the board did make some moves at their September meeting, including cuts to the OHSAA office and each of the six District Athletic Boards.

Recent financial adjustments made by the OHSAA include:

  • 20-percent pay cut for senior staff members and suspension of most OHSAA office interns and part-time staff. 
  • Suspension of several OHSAA publications, including OHSAA Magazine, the School Directory, Year in Review and Pocket Calendar. 
  • Suspension of the OHSAA Radio Network.
  • Suspension of video production for annual public service announcements. 
  • Printing the OHSAA Handbook in-house and continue printing many state tournament programs in-house.

In the future- OHSAA member schools who have not paid annual membership dues since 1998 may have to start again.

When it is all said and done the member schools will be the source of a financial rescue, but it comes at a time each school district is facing numerous issues with finances.

Past OHSAA Financial Statements

As a private non-profit association, the OHSAA does not receive any tax dollars. Eighty percent of the association’s revenue comes from ticket sales at postseason tournament contests. The other 20 percent come from corporate partners and officials dues. The OHSAA has 815 member high schools and approximately 760 member 7th and 8th grade schools.