The 2011-12 school year marks the 10th consecutive year of no increase in MHSAA Regional tournament tickets for football and boys and girls basketball; and it’s the ninth consecutive year without increase at the District level of those tournaments. This is noteworthy on at least three levels.
First, it means parents, grandparents, neighbors and friends on fixed incomes or struggling through a fickle economy have experienced no new costs to support their local school teams over the past decade.
Second, it means that what were the MHSAA’s largest revenue sources – gate receipts from District and Regional tournaments of football, boys basketball and girls basketball – have not been used to support the MHSAA’s expanding services.
Finally, when the freeze on ticket prices is combined with the freefall of girls and boys basketball attendance since the change of girls basketball season to the winter (the four-year average total attendance is down 9.3 percent for the girls tournament and down 21.1 percent for the boys tournament), the overall effect on the MHSAA’s operational budget is dramatic.
To compensate, the MHSAA has cut expenses and created new revenue sources. For years, MHSAA tournaments produced more than 90 percent of the MHSAA’s revenue. In 2010-11, it was less than 80 percent. The 2011-12 target is less than 75 percent.