COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – A House bill that would regulate high school football ticket prices has been formally introduced.
House Bill 311 sponsored by Representatives Jay Edwards (R-Nelsonville) and Justin Pizzulli (R-Scioto County) was formally introduced just days after Speaker of the Ohio House Jason Stephens (R-Kitts Hill) told reporters he has an issue with the Ohio High School Athletic Association’s ticket prices for high school football playoff games.
In the state budget, lawmakers passed a provision to require a cash-purchase option. Right now, to purchase a football playoff ticket online, it is $9, but at the door, with cash, the price goes up to $15.
“Which I think is crazy, it was not the intent of the law,” Edwards said. “It is a lot of money, when you’re a family of six trying to take your family to a ball game and you’re having to pay $15 to get in for ticket.”
Edwards said he thinks the increased cash-pay ticket price is retaliation for passing that requirement in the budget. And he said the hiked prices are already hurting families.
“I know for a fact there are loved ones that are going to miss their families last game ever because they cannot afford to get into that ball game,” Edwards said. “It’s ridiculous.”
The new bill says: “A qualifying school shall not establish different prices for tickets for a school-affiliated event based on whether those tickets are purchased online or using cash, except that the school may charge a processing fee for any ticket purchased online.”
The bill also requires that schools charge students who go to the school a ticket price less than admission for an adult at the same event. Edwards said that is an important part of the bill, to make sure students can support their school.
“These are high school athletes, high school kids, these are students trying to go support their team,” Edwards said. “Are we trying to drive more of them away?”
In a statement, the OHSAA said “The Ohio High School Athletic Association is aware of the legislation introduced today, October 27, regarding the gate price set for OHSAA tournament games and that the gate price is higher than the online ticket price, particularly as it relates to student tickets. The OHSAA will continue to discuss this issue today and over the weekend with lawmakers and the OHSAA Board of Directors regarding any changes to the gate price of tickets. More information will be released on Monday, October 30.”