With the spring sports season being canceled by the Virginia High School League due to the COVID-19 pandemic on Monday athletic departments around the state may have taken a hit.
However, the local athletic directors in the area said that financially they should be OK despite not having a spring season.
“We had a very successful fall and a very successful winter,” Central Athletic Director Justin Broughman said. “Spring is always a season that is kind of the weakest in terms of money coming in. I feel very confident right now that we can go into next fall just as comfortably as what we have done this year to this point. Money-wise – that’s not a concern for me.”
The spring has the most sports, but some of them such as tennis don’t even charge to attend them. Typically, football and basketball are the biggest money-makers according to the athletic directors.
Skyline Athletic Director Bill Cupp said that it’s much easier to recover from the spring season being wiped out than it is any of the other seasons.
“For us anyway you look at what the costs of officials is and all the things that go into hosting a game and for the spring we pretty much break even,” Cupp said. “That’s a guess, I mean, I don’t know for sure 100 percent. Is it going to hurt you? It’s still going to hurt some because you break even but you still got money coming from different sources.”
Cupp said that they were supposed to have a fundraiser last week that got canceled. They are also supposed to have a VHSL physical day, in which athletes can get their physicals for next season, in May. Cupp said the VHSL physical day likely will be postponed.
One issue Cupp said he is facing is having to get uniforms back from all of the players so that they can be used again next year.
“We got to figure out how we’re going to get them all back,” he said. “That’s literally thousands of dollars of equipment that’s pushed out across the county in different areas. I know most people will turn it back in but it’s always a struggle to get them all back anyway. So this is going to make it even tougher.”
Cupp said Skyline’s softball team had brand new uniforms that they will now have to wait and unveil next season.
Strasburg Athletic Director Matt Hiserman said that financially the school is in fine shape, in large part to the community’s support for the school.
“We make money in all of our sports,” Hiserman said. “Because of the community’s support and involvement we have, there’s not a sport that we have where we lose money. Obviously, we come out ahead in every sport. Obviously, for spring stuff we wouldn’t have used any of our spring stuff that we got for this year. So it comes out in a wash.”
Broughman said that one thing that helps him is that he tries to stay a year ahead financially as much as possible.
“For me every nickel that I take in from passes and games for 2019-20 I put toward (2020-)2021,” he said. “Plus, I have money left over now that I won’t spend. This was passed down probably from (former Central athletic directors) Jerry (Walters) to Susan (Fleming) to Kenny (Rinker) to me that you always try to stay one year ahead. I don’t think any of them ever thought that a global pandemic would be the reason why you’d want to stay one year ahead.”
Cupp said it’s certainly not ideal to lose the spring season, but he thinks financially they will be OK.
“I think it’s going to be survivable,” Cupp said. “If it was basketball season or football it would be a much harder blow financially. But still, we’re losing money on concessions and all the other things that we would do, just not as big a blow as it would be in the fall. Now if we can’t collect all our uniforms it’s going to be a big blow.”