Fundraising for sports takes hit during pandemic, concessions vital for teams

With high school football returning Friday, a lot of precautions are being taken for fans as they enter the game: concessions will only sell pre-packaged food and bottled drinks only.

COVID-19 has impacted a lot of how football teams operate and make money.

Andy Winters with the Red Bank High School Quarterbacks Club says fundraising is harder than ever.

"Back to our fundraising, we did our golf tournament and there were a couple of restaurants that have donated in the past, but they couldn't because the pandemic has hurt them because they were closed for a while,” Winters said.

The pandemic has also impacted other forms of donations.

"Even like our pregame meals, you know. A lot can't do it because they were closed and that throws it back on us and the money we have had to raise. You know, spending 500-600 dollars on pregame meals,” Winters said.

Winters says it's not cheap paying for a football program.

"To have a successful program, it takes a lot of money because it's not just what we make off concessions. I mean, we've got to but buses for away games the pregame meals equipment,” Winters said.

So concession sales will be vital this season, with ninety-five percent of the sales going to the football team.

Ticket sales also help fund other sports, and with a limited amount of fans allowed inside, Winters said the impact will be felt everywhere.

"So that puts a hurt on us too, and it's not just our school, it's every school,” Winters said.

Like many parents, players, and coaches, Winters is ready for Friday nights at Red Bank High School.

“To be able to play, it’s just….I’m happy,” Winters said.

They were able to raise $10,000 at their golf tournament this summer; the most they have ever raised.

Winters and the football team are thankful for every penny.