Marysville officials say that moving the first two high school football games of the season to other facilities will have a minimal financial impact on the district.
Marysville was scheduled to play Northland tonight at home and host Delaware next Friday, but construction delays on the district’s stadium renovation forced the games to be moved. Marysville will play tonight at Olentangy and will play next week’s game at Hilliard Bradley.
Former Marysville Athletic Director Ryan Walker, who was involved in much of the planning for the game relocation, said the cost to use each of the fields is about $2,000. Included in that fee will be all costs for security, custodians, lighting and a site manager.
He said Marysville expends about $1,500 to host a football game at its local field. Costs for home games are absorbed by the athletic department and the neutral site games will be no different, Walker said.
Marysville will keep all of the gate revenue for both contests, but some addition financial concerns will also factor into the situation.
The team and band will need transportation to the locations just like regular away games, necessitating seven buses and drivers at a cost of about $1,000, according to Walker.
Current athletic director Joey Day said Olentangy and Hilliard will be responsible for providing concessions and will keep the profits. Normally volunteers from Marysville’s booster clubs man the concession stands at home games.
Despite the loss of two games worth of snack revenue, Day said the booster programs have remained supportive through the construction struggles.
“They understand what we are going through,” Day said.
Day said he met with representatives from Olentangy last week for a site visit at the field to become familiar with logistical issues such are parking. He traveled to Hilliard Bradley for a similar visit on Wednesday.
Day said organizers are taking extra steps to try to provide as close to a home-game atmosphere as possible for the local athletes. He said banners highlighting Marysville seniors will be hung on the fencing, a Monarch merchandise trailer will be site and all passes honored at home games will be accepted at contests.
Organizers have also set up a “spirit bus” to transport younger local students to the game for a $1 fee. Walker said the hope is to get a solid crowd to support the local athletes despite the travel involved.
“We’re doing everything we can to make it a home (game) away from home,” Day said.
Walker said the planning with other districts has been underway for quite a while, in case the wet spring and other construction delays impacted the opening date of the stadium. Day said local officials reached out to numerous districts that met two criteria – an open field and a willingness to help.
Walker said some districts that were contacted said they would not be able to host a game.
Other considerations that played into the final decision on where to play included input from the Marysville coaching staff and an interest in being fair to the opponents in terms of travel. Walker said the district only looked in the Columbus area for available sites.
Day said, in the end, the district found two great facilities to play in, noting that the local squad has familiarity with Bradley’s facility, having just taken part in a scrimmage there.
After the first two games, the Monarchs will travel to Findlay and Grove City, before returning for a scheduled home contest against Big Walnut on Sept. 27. As construction crews scramble to make up ground on the $11.8 million project, which includes construction of a middle school stadium and high school track facility, local school officials are working with the county engineering department to explore the possibility of hosting the game under a temporary occupancy permit, essentially meaning the facility is safe to host a game even though it is not completed.
The current estimated completion date for all three portions of the project is Nov. 1
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