Posted: 10:11 am Wednesday, April 9th, 2014
By Todd Holcomb
Class A schools that reach the state finals in football at the Georgia Dome are asking for a raise.
The 2013 finalists – Marion County, Charlton County, Calvary Day and Aquinas – each took home about $17,000 in profit last year from the two-day event that drew 43,989 in paid attendance. But that’s only about half or less than what the 10 finalists made from the higher classifications. Norcross and North Gwinnett from Class AAAAAA got more than $41,000 apiece.
The total payout for the 14 schools was $438,264, according to the Georgia High School Association.
Marion County principal Glenn Tidwell, also a member of the GHSA’s executive committee that will vote on the matter, is proposing that the Class A finalists get 24 percent of the pot, up from 16 percent last year.
“Even though it’s a small school and fan base, we’re bringing a large group of people,’’ said Marion County principal Glenn Tidwell. “Sometimes the single A people get more excited than the larger schools. We just need to re-adjust those percentages to be fair.’’
Marion County reportedly sold $27,000 in pre-sale tickets but got $10,000 less than that at the end of the day.
GHSA executive director Ralph Swearngin said the issue has a history that complicates it. Class A had only one championship game until 2012, when the GHSA agreed to provide for public-school and private-school state champions. It won’t be easy to get larger schools to agree to give Class A one-fourth of the total payout.
‘’When we decided to go with the public-private split, one of the things that got (the executive committee) to vote for it was the idea that Class A, despite two champions, wouldn’t get more slots in the playoffs than any other class and that the shares of revenue would be the same that it’s been before,’’ Swearngin said. “That means when they got an extra chance for a championship, there would be recognition that there would be less revenue.’’
The matter will be decided Monday at the GHSA’s executive committee meeting in Macon.
2013 Georgia Dome state finals payouts –
AAAAAA (19 percent)
Norcross – $41,787
North Gwinnett – $41,854
AAAAA (17 percent)
Creekside – $37,375
Tucker – $37,343
AAAA (17 percent)
Griffin – $37,324
Carrollton – $37,394
AAA (16 percent
Buford – $34,911
Washington County – $35,346
AA (15 percent)
Lamar County – $33,021
Lovett – $32,774
A private (8 percent)
Calvary Day – $17,558
Aquinas – $17,008
A public (8 percent)
Charlton County – $17,695
Marion County – $16,870
Note: Mileage is added to base pay.