(WKBN) — The high school sports seasons are underway with football beginning Friday night in Ohio. Starting in October, a new state law will require all 818 Ohio High School Athletic Association high schools to offer a cash option for the community to attend games. Some schools like it, and some don’t.
Whether you want to see a game or just the band at halftime, a new state law will apply. Some schools have gone to ticket apps, but now they’ll have to provide a way for people again to pay with cash to get in.
“Cashless ticketing is working for us. To my knowledge, no one has been denied entry to a Warren event and we have larger crowds than most areas,” said Warren City School District Superintendent Steve Chiaro.
Chiaro feels anyone who needed a ticket to a Raiders game could work through the athletic office or the athletic director and not miss the game. He doesn’t understand why the cash option has to be mandated by state law.
“Everyone is getting their hands spanked for maybe a school district or two that were digging their heels in and not allowing folks in. You know, maybe that’s the school district that should have been addressed instead of all across the state,” Chiaro said.
Warren is planning no cash sales Friday night at its first game, since the law doesn’t go into effect until October.
The Youngstown City School District said it tried online ticketing, but with only two buyers one season, it never worked for them. The district never stopped taking cash.
The Poland Local School District will remain a cash-only zone after surveying Bulldog fans about the preference.
“It was overwhelming. Eighty percent of our parents and grandparents prefer having cash at the ticket windows,” said Poland athletic director Brian Banfield.
The brilliance of cash is it’s universally accepted. Every team in Poland’s conference has the same policy, so the convenience applies to home and away games.
“Hey, I don’t have to download a code and get tickets. It just makes it easy for everyone involved,” Banfield said.
The law also applies to music, drama and any school activity that charges admission, plus the concession stands. It was the idea of local state Sen. Sandra O’Brien.