Sports Attendance Isn’t the Best


Beth Myers

Pep rallies can help bring together the school and bring people to sporting events. Taken during the Homecoming Pep Rally, the juniors prove they are probably the liveliest of the classmen.

The past year has been hard for the sports teams at LHS between weather, COVID-19 and just not having the best game some nights. Basketball and football have seen lower student sections. In fact, attendance has been down across all sporting events.

“Using 2020-2021 data, and 2021-22 year to date data, our gate revenue is down 72% from a five-year average,” Athletic Director Brian Strong said, “What that means is essentially, 3 out of 10 people that went to the games prior to Covid have returned, 7 people haven’t. Not surprisingly, the concession receipts, or the second-largest source of revenue is also down nearly 50%. This is very scary data. Our athletic department is 100% self-funded. Many schools’ athletic departments received assistance from their school corporation to offset losses caused by Covid, but we did not.”

Despite the loss from the basketball game Friday night, the student section still has some tough school spirit. A small ride on the Berry Coaster takes place in the Berry Bowl during the second half of the game. (Vasan Nomany)

In reaction to the dramatic change in revenue, he is looking for more ways to encourage more people to come to the games.

“We have cut spending drastically to try to keep afloat but we are nearing the point where there are just too many needs. This past week, a student had a suggestion to let students into the boys basketball game for $1 to help improve attendance. I thought it was a great idea, so I agreed. We ended up selling less than 10 tickets to our students,” Strong said.

The student had a great idea to help, but it didn’t work. Senior Vice President of Pep Club Maggie Fincher wants to say that the reason why people are not going is because of COVID-19, but thinks it could be an excuse.

“I want to say yes because that’s a lot of people’s excuse, but for the most part, I don’t think it’s because of COVID. For some kids, it is. Some are really worried about the effect of getting COVID and passing it on and I get that,” Fincher said, “I’m not going to hate on anybody who’s not going to the games. But I know a lot of my class just don’t because they’re either working or they’re just too lazy to come.”

While Fincher acknowledges work as a valid reason for not going, that is not the only reason kids don’t go.

“Which is valid, we all going to college and it’s super expensive, and we have to work to pay for it,” Fincher said.

Fincher talks about how schools are making fun of our school because nobody comes to the games.

“Other schools in our county have been making fun of our student section, and it’s just sad. Disappointing is all I have to say,” Fincher said.

School spirit is important for any sport since it gives the player a warm feeling when their classmates come to support and cheer them on. Fincher talks about how people only go if they’re good.

“I think the support from football and basketball is substantial. Some kids only want to go if our teams are good. It’s not about how good our team is. It’s about school spirit,” Fincher said.

Fincher talks about how it’s disappointing that nobody is going to the games.

“Schools in our country have been making fun of our student section because of how small it is,” Fincher said.

Sophomore Jaelyn Benish thinks there needs to be a better student section.

“I like to go to other schools for better student sections. I’m a cheerleader, so I don’t get to be a part of our student section. But honestly, I don’t want to be because our student section sucks, nobody goes,” Benish said.