“There are good things for the community when we host,” Wilson said.
High school football remains the school’s most popular sport and moneymaker. The district received $22,795.75 in revenue from the four games it hosted last season. One of those was adversely affected by the weather, which lowered revenue. Costs for football were $15,806.46.
Wilson is hopeful football numbers will improve when Knoxville hosts five games this year. The teams Knoxville will face also travel well (PCM on Aug. 30, Pella on Sept. 20, Chariton on Oct. 11 and Oskaloosa on Oct. 25; homecoming is Sept. 27 vs. Dallas Center-Grimes).
Equipment replacement and upkeep can also be costly. Wilson said he tries to get as much life out of uniforms and equipment as possible. Student safety is never risked in an attempt to save money. Football helmets, which cost approximately $300 each, have a total shelf life of 10 years. Oftentimes, pads and parts of the helmets are replaced to ensure the best for the students’ safety, but no helmet is used beyond 10 years.
Wilson has a rotation set up for uniform replacement among the sports, though that may be adjusted if gate receipts continue to hinder his budget. As it is, varsity uniforms of today will someday be middle school uniforms.
Discussion has been held about potentially raising admission fees. Wilson is confident that he and other district officials can work together to reverse the trend, and hopeful this can be done without fee increases.