Wilkes Central High School Athletics


Ticket prices rising for MVAC sports in 2016


For the first time in more than 10 years, the price of admission to athletic events at Wilkes County high schools is going up. The Mountain Valley Athletic Conference has increased ticket prices from $5 to $6 for all sports starting with this school year. According to Chris Skabo, Wilkes County Schools’ director of Athletics and Healthful Living, the MVAC is one of the last conferences in the region to bump ticket prices up and in fact, schools in some counties are charging $7 for admission to football games. Skabo said the increase in ticket prices will help each school manage its athletic department’s operating costs. “Six dollars goes to several different areas,” Skabo said. “It goes to the general athletic fund, which is responsible for purchasing security, transportation to away games, officials, maintenance on fields or courts, uniforms, equipment — all the basic needs that you have.” East Wilkes Athletic Director Justin Call said that just paying for officials and security at athletic events last school year cost the program around $27,000. Skabo added that those numbers are about the same across the board, noting that booster clubs typically account for about $30,000 of each athletic department’s total budget. “Hopefully, the price increase will generate some more in gate receipts,” Call said. “At East Wilkes our athletic budget is usually about $100,000. Our gate receipts are usually in the neighborhood of $60,000, so that leaves us a difference of about $30,000 each year that our Athletic Booster’s Club has to make up for us to have sports….Hopefully, the price increase will help to ease the burden on our Booster’s Club and fundraising efforts.” For fans looking to save a little money at the gate, there are other options. Within the MVAC, each school has the option to sell season passes for home events and can sell them at whatever price they chose. All four high schools in Wilkes County offer season passes. East Wilkes’ Booster Club offers several different options including individual passes, family passes and sponsorship passes. Call said that anyone interested in a pass should contact the booster club. At North Wilkes, the Vikings also offer passes and they will be the same price they were a year ago. North Wilkes Athletic Director Marty Behrens said that anyone interested in a season pass should contact the school. “I am not sure the exact effect (the price increase) will have on the overall budget at this point,” Behrens added. “It will probably take a year of doing it until we see what impact it makes on it. I do know that surrounding counties (Surry, Alexander) have been charging seven dollars a game, so we are still cheaper than most of the counties around us.” West Wilkes offers a year-long student pass that includes every home event except playoff and tournament games for $25, which is the same price it was a season ago. However, passes for students from other schools and adults are $40 per season, which is an increase of $10 from 2015. West Wilkes Athletic Director Todd Rutz added that family passes could also be requested. Wilkes Central’s Booster Club also sells season passes both for individuals and families. First year Athletic Director Jeff Savage added that the passes are a good way for families to save money through the season