Fans attending state championship tournaments across the state will now have to pay just a little bit more this season.
The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association board of directors voted Wednesday to raise ticket prices $2 to state tournaments and championship games in every sport but football this season.
Tickets will now cost $7.
“We’re trying to put our kids in premier facilities” OSSAA executive director Ed Sheakley said. “These facilities, their cost continues to rise, we are reimbursing our schools more than we ever had before and we’re just trying to keep up with inflation.”
The OSSAA already charged $7 for the semifinals and championship games in football. It will also now charge $7 in soccer semifinals.
Sheakley told the board that Oklahoma still remains one of the country’s cheapest tickets for high school championship events.
“When you can go to three state championship basketball games for $7, that’s a pretty good bargain,” Sheakley said. “We haven’t changed ticket prices in many, many years and the price of everything has gone up. You can only stay firm for so long and things catch up with you.”
Ticket prices were likely to rise for the basketball tournament before the board’s vote with State Fair Arena officials raising the cost of each fan $1 for the OSSAA.
BOARD VOTES CHANGES TO OPEN RECORDS POLICY
In an effort to protect privacy of students and families making appeals for eligibility, the board voted to change Board Policy LIII regarding open meeting and open records.
The policy now includes wording from House Bill 2730, but also contains wording that will help the OSSAA keep confidential records private and unattainable from open record requests.
“Frankly, I as an attorney for the board would prefer to defend you against open records act charges that you’re refusing to give up this information than to have to defend the board against invasion of privacy-type lawsuits by individual students or families who are complaining that you surrendered up this information that was intended to be private and confidential,” attorney Mark Grossman told the board.
The board also approved a new policy that requires an annual financial audit, compliance audit of all funds and a performance audit conducted be completed no later than Dec. 31, 2014 and Dec. 31 every five years thereafter.
But the OSSAA has struggled to find someone to complete the audits. The board did vote to continue with a financial audit like normal, with it being crucial to setting the OSSAA’s budget for the school year.
2014-15 ADM APPROVED
The board unanimously approved the new Average Daily Membership for the upcoming school year, setting the classifications for sports not competing in districts and other non-athletic activities.
With the ADM being approved, McGuinness now finds itself in Class 6A for basketball.
Both boys and girls teams will be moved up from Class 5A to 6A because of OSSAA’s rules on private-school success rates. With the boys team qualifying for the Class 5A state tournament three out of five years, the requirement was met for both teams to move up.
Also with the changes, Del City returns to Class 6A, essentially swapping places with Lawton Eisenhower.
Hennessey is also moving to Class 3A after making the state tournament last season in both baseball and girls basketball.
Class B girls basketball defending champion Okarche is also returning to Class A trying to make a rare three-peat already possessing the last two titles in Class A and B.
FALL BASEBALL TITLE GAMES REMAIN IN BRICKTOWN
The fall baseball state championship games will remain at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark after the board unanimously approved to keep the Class A and Class B games there.
The games are scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 11.