High school football a big money maker for schools

Posted by: Melissa Johnson - bio | email

Prattville, AL (WSFA) – Friday night, fans packed stadiums all across Fever Country cheering on their favorite teams.

Those crowds not only generate lots of spirit, but also lots of money.

For some school systems, it's the only way their football, cheerleading, and even band programs get by.

Most Friday nights in Prattville, folks like Jimmy Jones say, you'll find them at Stanley Jensen Stadium.

Jones said, "Look at this crowd.  I mean, this is what it means on Friday night when you got eight to ten thousand of your closest friends here.  I mean, it's a small town at its best."

Prattville High School Principal Lee Hicks said, "This is how we survive, by having the support of the community."

Hicks says ticket sales are a large revenue source for his athletic department.

"It costs a large amount of money to keep the programs going as far as transportation and also equipping the students with uniforms and safety gear," said Hicks.

From those profits made from ticket sales to the concession stands, it all adds up to be one of the biggest fundraisers not only for the football team, but other extra-curricular activities as well.

Director of Bands Rob Cothran said, "For big games we can net up to $10,000 at night if it's a really good game."

Cothran says the concession stand funds mean big bucks for the band, and they need it with nearly 250 band members.

"Candy sales and other things just haven't done well because people can't afford to buy those things, but something like this, where you can come out and support your kids and the community, it's still successful and we still make good money."

Even private schools like St. James in Montgomery say they depend on money makers like football games to keep the programs going.

Folks say it's a big win for the schools, no matter what the score.

For high school games played at Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, the money made at concession stands actually benefits the entire city.  All profits there are put into the general fund.

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