Managing money key for school sports

Max Stoneking, Co-Editor

Money well spent.

For a high school athletic program, managing money plays an important role in successfully hosting events and supporting each athletic program.

The money that goes toward athletics comes from four different sources which include the district paying coaches, the building having its own expenses, charging admission at events to help offset other costs and booster club funds that are extra and not affiliated with the school budget.

“We spend money on transportation. We spend money on officials to referee our home events. We spend money on setting up for tournaments. That costs a little bit, but we have entry fees which help offset the costs. Then we spend money on paying the coaches,” Matt Johnson, athletic director, said.

Every school sport receives funding from the school; however, it is not equal, but rather proportional for the size of each team. For example, the football team has far more participants than the bowling team, so the football team receives more money to pay for necessities such as transportation. The bowling team proportionally still receives the same amount to cover necessary team expenses.

“Every sport is provided what they need in order to function,” Johnson said.

In the event that a sports program wants to add to the funding to help pay for team apparel, new equipment, team dinners, etc., its booster club can host fundraisers to help draw in more revenue. Not every sport has a booster club, but most do.

The school athletic budget has to cover a wide variety of necessities, and in some cases, facility rental costs come into play.

“All of our sports teams get to use district facilities for free, but for bowling and golf [sports that require an off campus facility], they have to pay. The bowling alley gives us a very good deal as well as the golf course,” Johnson said.

The budget setting process begins with each head coach making requests for what they may need for the upcoming season. Those requests are sent in the spring, and according to Johnson, he looks over the requests and approves or declines certain parts of each coach’s request. An example would be the basketball coach putting in for new uniforms, a shooting machine, new ball racks and 20 new warm up suits. Not all of that equipment can be granted to the team due to the budget; therefore, Johnson may choose the new warm up suits and new ball racks so that basketball is not asking for new warm ups the next season.

To help cover the expenses necessary to pay for officials, facility use, hosting an event, etc., some sporting events require an admission charge to home games or tournaments.

“We charge admission for football, girls and boys basketball and admission at ODAC for baseball and softball, varsity only. We have to charge admission for postseason KSHAA events, so if we host a regional in any sport, KSHAA makes us do a gate fee for that,” Johnson said.

In order for high school athletic teams to function, they must be provided necessary funds from the school. A building wide athletic budget, which is part of the total building budget for all expenses, helps ensure that the money given to each team is proportional and that facilities, officials and transportation are available for competition.