The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

Where the money goes

Behind the scenes of what Carlmont ASB does with school ticket money
Alyssa Bish
Carlmont students pay an entry fee of $8 when it comes to watching and supporting their own football team.

Carlmont students are paying $8 for tickets to get into a home football game, yet Aragon students attend theirs for free. This is the reality Carlmont students face when it comes to supporting and cheering on their school.

High ticket prices for school events bother many Carlmont students, leading to complaints and confusion about where all the money earned goes. 

“I hate them because at a lot of the other schools, you can get in for a lower price if you’re a student, for $4 compared to our $8,” said Gabriela Cole, a Carlmont sophomore.

But these high prices aren’t the only thing frustrating students. A lot of it also stems from students not knowing where their money is going or who is benefitting from it. 

“We don’t know what the money is going towards, so it doesn’t make sense why our prices are much higher compared to other schools,” Cole said.

Because many lack information about where their money is being put to use, students’ initial reactions to these high prices are often formed without considering the numerous factors that must be taken into account. As a result, students tend to compare Carlmont’s prices to other schools that are cheaper or even free. 

Aragon has a different ticketing system than Carlmont, which allows students with identification to attend for free. With a first come, first served ruleset, Aragon provides free access to those who sign up first. However, those who do not sign in on time may face the consequences of not getting into the game.

“To get in, they would have us put our ID number in during lunch the day before, and we’d get a confirmation email. Otherwise, they will release tickets after the second quarter, and whoever is waiting can get in,” said Aragon student Ria Vij.

While other schools in the area, such as Aragon, can lower ticket prices, there is nothing that Carlmont’s Associated Student Body (ASB) can do to change the entry fee to games because they have little control over determining the prices.

“The ticket prices for the games are dictated by the Peninsula Athletic League (PAL),” said ASB director Jim Kelly.

Within PAL lies different districts, and each district varies in how its finances are set up. In the Sequoia Union High School District, each school pays for its own amenities, which differs from schools like Aragon because it lies within another district. 

“The San Mateo High School District has a system where all of their money gets collected and goes into one big pool for all of their district schools,” Kelly said.

At Carlmont, the ASB financial committee handles the money received from events like football games. From here, they decide how to budget the proceeds. Since the program is registered as a non-profit organization, Carlmont’s ASB’s budget has to show that all of the money made is spent. However, in the past few years, the general fund has gone down, meaning that more money is being spent than made.

The $8 ticket price to attend a home football game at Carlmont does not leave the ASB Finance Commission with any profit. Instead, all game earnings go directly to paying game officials yet it’s still not enough to cover the entire cost for all sports. With an overall budget of about $100,000 to be spent on all activities per year, most of it is already dedicated to sport-related expenses.

“ASB is responsible for all of the sports officials, so it costs us about $70,000 right now. Those prices have increased a lot, but the gate prices for basketball and football games have not increased accordingly,” Kelly said.

Even though ASB is losing money on sports events, students still think ticket prices should be lower. This leads to a frustrating dilemma for Carlmont’s ASB because they have to balance both sides of the scale.

In addition, surrounding schools typically offer a student discount where students can attend games for a lower rate than other fans, but Carlmont does not provide this opportunity. 

“The non-Carlmont attendees typically ask if there is a student discount or what the funds go to,” said Aidan Gurskis, ASB member and head of the Finance Commission. 

Since ASB is losing money with the $8 tickets, it would be hard to make student discounts as Aragon has.

“Carlmont has considered making a student discount for sporting events, but it would require us to raise student prices in dances, PAL stickers, and other revenue sources,” Gurskis said.

PAL stickers are one of the few forms of discount offered at Carlmont, discounting a few dollars off of event tickets with the purchase of the pass. They are led by the Carlmont Booster Club, a parent-run organization that donates its fundraising to sporting equipment, tournament fees, training resources, and more.

The Carlmont Athletic Boosters support athletic needs for 17 sports with a total of 51 teams. This year, the organization strives to reach its fundraising goal of $75,000. They work with the Athletic Director, Patrick Smith, who works closely with ASB to upgrade the school’s outdated equipment.

Carlmont students utilize the recently added weight room funded by the Carlmont Booster Club. (Isabella Rice)

Despite this fundraising, it is not enough to provide full coverage for the expenses of Carlmont’s athletic program. Even more sources of income are needed to cover all costs. This is where bigger events and dances play a vital role.

“The other big revenue source we have to pay for stuff like that is homecoming and winter formal,” Kelly said.

Homecoming and winter formal are both dances that some students feel could be cheaper. Some even say they would attend the events if they didn’t cost as much.

“I think a lot of people are just doing something else with their friends instead of going to a dance that costs so much,” Cole said.

According to Kelly, despite what many consider to be overpriced, attendance for both dances and games has increased significantly over the last few years. Now, more people are coming to dances than ever before, and the same applies to games.

Lindsay Moynihan, a Carlmont teacher who attended as a student, agrees that more people attend today’s events than in the past.

“Students seem a lot more engaged and excited to attend football games and dances than when I went here,” Moynihan said.

Pullquote Photo

Students seem a lot more engaged and excited to attend football games and dances than when I went here.

— Lindsay Moynihan, a Carlmont teacher, coach, and alumna

This increase in attendance is much better for Carlmont because it increases the tickets they can sell; therefore, they have an easier time paying for the game officials.

“The money from the homecoming dance, formal dance, and sporting events go towards Carlmont sports team expenditures such as referee fees and jerseys, reimbursements for club expenditures, and ASB commission expenditures for school events and services,” Gurskis said.

However, because this topic often goes unannounced, many students and families lack the general knowledge of how all the finances are being handled. Students would be more open to paying such prices if they know where and what the money is being put towards.

“If there’s a valid reason for why I’m spending $8 for football games and I know what it is going towards, then I wouldn’t complain about having to pay so much,” Cole said.

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About the Contributors
Alyssa Bish
Alyssa Bish, Photo Editor
Alyssa Bish (Class of 2025) is a current photojournalist and editor for Scot Scoop. This is her second year in the journalism program and she is super excited to continue taking pictures for this award-winning program. In her spare time, you can find Alyssa on the field playing soccer on either her club team or the Carlmont varsity team. View her journalism website here: Alyssa Bish Photojournalism
Isabella Rice
Isabella Rice, Staff Writer
Isabella Rice (class of 2025) is a Junior at Carlmont High School and a second-year writer for Scot Scoop. Within the journalism program, she focuses on athletics and is often found taking photos at sports games or writing match reports. Outside of school, she can be found playing soccer for her club team or for Carlmont's Varsity soccer and lacrosse teams.

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The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.
Where the money goes