In-person attendance at sporting events has been an issue at the professional and collegiate levels for years, but it seems as though the problem has trickled down to the high school level, as well. At least that’s the case at Valdosta (Ga.) City Schools, where football fans can follow the high school team via livestream, according to the Valdosta Daily Times.
As options to follow games from home continue to get better, schools are left to contend with how to best monetize their product. Valdosta AD Reginald Mitchell says that since the livestream option became available beginning in 2002, ticket sales have taken a dip.
“I’ve seen our ticket sales drop,” Mitchell told the Daily Times. “I’m not saying the live stream is the main reason, but I think it’s a big reason.”
Valdosta has reportedly been offering the livestream option free of charge. Jeffries Eldridge said that that makes Valdosta one of the only school systems that offers livestreams but doesn’t charge.
Both Eldridge and Mitchell have considered charging for access to the livestream, with a season pass selling for between $50 and $60, and single-game passes going for the price of a ticket at $10.
“As big as it has gotten, we’re losing money revenue-wise,” Eldridge told the Daily Times. “It would be important to generate money for the athletic fund.”