Over the last two seasons, the JV boys' soccer team has had an overall record of 22-1. This past season they outscored their opponents 40-1 and lost only one game to Winston Churchill 0-1. However, this team, arguably the best team at Blair, struggled to draw more fans than sports such as field hockey and JV football, which both had losing records.
Part of the reason for the lack of attendance is the $3 admission price for each soccer game. The JV team plays in Blazer Stadium and according to Athletic Director Dale Miller, "Any team that plays in the stadium must charge admission." The reasoning for this is that all ticket sales "go to the general athletic department fund,” said Miller. The money gets distributed so that all teams are able to buy the necessary equipment as well as pay for travel.
The JV boys' soccer games are less attractive to students because of the cost and because there are several other options such as sitting on the hill outside of the stadium to see soccer or watching field hockey from the teachers' parking lot.
These ticket prices limit the crowd to the parents of players who are willing to pay to see their sons. At a recent 3-0 win over Gaithersburg High School, there was only one student at the game. The entire crowd was at its largest, 15 people, consisting almost entirely of parents and siblings of players. "The team would like to see more support from the school they represent," Coach John Haigh said.
Since very few students are attending the games, if any at all, not charging Blair students would be a reasonable course of action. This would lead to greater team support and also to finding new alternatives to gain revenue such as fundraisers and the sale of Blair soccer memorabilia, which would make up for the small amount of money lost. The team would lose little money because adults make up the majority of attendance. In addition, parents, siblings of students and friends from other schools would still have to pay in order for the team to contribute towards paying for the field fees. In the end,
In the last game of the season, Blair played Winston Churchill at home and charged no admission. The game was not announced to students because it had originally been an away game, and Winston Churchill had already paid for the referees even though the game was at Blazer Stadium. At one point in the game, 10 students from Blair were present, even though most had no idea it would be free.
Overall, it seems like a problem that can easily be solved to get more fans to see one of Blair's best teams. There is a simple solution to using alternate ways of money making. Everything revolves around the commitment of Blair to its athletic program. If the necessary steps are taken, it is quite possible to resurrect the attendance of JV boys' soccer next season.
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