Bradford Letter

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 1, 2011

City league basketball fan questions admission price, team fee assessment

I am writing to express my concerns with the way the city league basketball program is being operated. It is under the Batesville Parks and Recreation Department. I participated in the city league in both the 1990s and also the last decade up to 2008.

This opinion is shared with other former and current players. I am a fan now and thinking about getting involved as a coach.

There are 12 teams participating in the league this year. Each team has to pay $325 to enter. And on top of that, if you are a fan, you have to pay $2 to watch the game. OK, we understand you have to pay to enter a team. But up until about ten years ago the fans could watch for free. Then they started charging $1. In 2008, the price of admission went up to $2.

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What most of us can’t understand is this: if you are going to charge fans for to watch basketball, then why aren’t you charging fans to watch softball? (There’s no admission charge for city league softball games.)

The softball games last longer than basketball games, and therefore more lights are being used.

Regarding the team entry fees: why does the fee keep going up, over $300 just to play in a school gym after hours? That’s not right. In other nearby towns it is not over $150. That’s a fact. And in some towns, it is free to enter a team. Each player just has to pay each game to play.

Ever since the fans started being charged to attend, a lot of them have stopped coming.

It is not because they didn’t have $2, but because of the principle of the whole thing.

Why charge all that money and then have all those unnecessary workers in the gym?

The games start at 7 p.m. and are over about 9 p.m. They have three people at the door just to take up money. There is only one way in and one way out. Only about 25 or 30 fans come to the game. Then you have two people who run the clock. And you have about eight different officials on the city payroll. That is about 13 people coming and collecting a paycheck off the taxpayers’ money.

All it takes is somebody at the door, someone running the clock, and two officials with one substitute on the city payroll.

I think it is time for the mayor of Batesville to have a meeting with parks director Robert Lightsey to get the city league right, or cut it out all together.

But no one wants to see it go away. We just want it to be operated with common sense.


Bobby “Six-9” Bradford