With the COVID-19 lockdown starting in March, the Elmbrook district, along with other districts, were hesitant about the start of fall sports. Because Brookfield East wants the best for students and student athletes, individuals in charge of the athletic department were determined to start fall sports as soon as possible, while also following health protocols stated by the CDC and Wisconsin. Many school districts, including Elmbrook, weren’t sure how sports would look in the fall. Although all sports started successfully, they formed later in the season and looked vastly different from previous years.
Ben Westphal, the Head of the Brookfield East athletic department, spoke about the financial implications the late start to fall sports had on the school. The athletic department’s typical budget accommodates the cost of basic sports equipment such as balls, rackets, nets, etc. Out of the entire budget, the largest amount goes into paying officials and referees.
In a “normal” school year, the amount of money that the athletic department receives from fall sporting events totals around $20-25,000, including the cost of student passes. Part of this revenue comes from admission fees to games; the breakdown of this cost includes adults paying $5, students paying $4, and elders having free admission. Furthermore, all students and their families are eligible for purchasing sporting passes, which are $40 each, and allow individuals to go to all sporting events per season without paying admission fees. Financial report of fall sports
According to Mr. Westphal, “the amount of people that come to each game depends on the interest of the games such as home games against Brookfield Central; football has the fewest events, so there aren’t many home games, while basketball and tennis have far more games.” The highest viewer turnout rate for sports is football, and the typical amount of money that the season amounts to is $5000 in a normal situation. Nevertheless, most fall sports make around the same amount of money because of the differing number of games that each sport has in their season.
Because of COVID-19 and health concerns this year, the school refrained from using concession stands. The money typically made at concession stands goes to the Booster club, which allows the school to restock concession stands and provide financial benefits to the competing sports team. Because the school did not use concession stands this year, they rely on BEAST families to join the Spartan Booster club and pay the membership fee. The membership fee starts from $30 and stretches to $200, and all the proceeds go into paying for equipment and keeping the program running. “The Elmbrook district cares a lot about the safety of students and student athletes, and we want what’s best for them. We [Elmbrook district] really couldn’t have done it [resume fall sports] if it weren’t for the support of BEAST families,” stated Mr. Westphal.