After years of seeing athletics revenues exceed expenses, the Knoxville School District’s sports’ budget fell into the red for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2013.
“We need people to come to games,” Activities Director Randy Wilson said. “That is where my budget comes from.”
The budget’s revenues come from gate receipts. Knoxville is hosting close to the maximum amount of events allowed in a year, including district wrestling and volleyball. Because of the losses, Wilson believes he will have to cut back and “tighten the belt” on expenses for the 2013-14 school year.
In a report given to the school board, total expenses for all middle school and high school, boys’ and girls’ athletics, were $106,074.69. Revenue totaled $90,168.18. In the prior year, revenue was $98,611.60 and expenses were $101,073.57.
Regardless of attendance to a Knoxville Schools’ athletic event, costs remain the same. The costs continue to go up every year.
For example, each football game requires five officials. Knoxville pays $125 per official for each varsity game. Payment to officials must be competitive to ensure that the school is bringing in someone of quality. Other schools in the Little Hawkeye Conference pay between $75-80, but may also offer mileage. Junior high football officials are paid $65, and four are needed at each game.
Each basketball boys’ and girls’ double header costs $95 and three officials are needed. The $95 fee is unanimous among LHC schools. In junior high, the fee is $65 for two officials.
There is not a sport Knoxville hosts in which an official is not paid at least $65. This is consistent among other LHC schools. Each sport requires at least two officials, with the exception of Cross Country.
Hosting sporting events has a positive impact on the community. For instance, a recent track meet hosted in Knoxville was so spread out that Wilson did not attempt to charge admission. He did provide lists of Knoxville restaurants to attendees, and buses could be found all over, supporting Knoxville businesses.