Shrewsbury Athletics Face Budget Woes From Mosquito Cancellations

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Much of Shrewsbury's fall football season was played during the day, leading to a loss in revenue. Photo Credit: John Swinconeck (file)

SHREWSBURY, Mass. — Shrewsbury High School athletic boosters will be working hard this winter to recoup financial losses that came as a result of last summer’s EEE and West Nile outbreaks.

The presence of mosquitoes that could carry the viruses prompted the cancellation of evening and night outdoor events starting in August. The ban, which included night games and other school events, was in place until mid-October.

Night football games were rescheduled for the daytime, and fall season attendance fell. Shrewsbury High School Athletics Director Jason Costa said his department lost $15,000 to $20,000, due in large part to low admissions and concessions sales.

“Our games suffered a lot,” Costa said. “I think that people got content with not coming, so when we did go back to night, the attendance wasn’t as high. We lost out on the middle school crowd. That hurt us.”

The athletic program was already facing a $70,000 budget gap for the fiscal year as part of a larger $2.5 million gap spread across the school district.

According to Costa, the Shrewsbury Boosters will hold fundraisers this winter to make up for lost revenue in his department.

Shrewsbury High School winter athletes are selling tickets until Jan. 4 for daily February drawings. Prizes may range from $50 to $100. Tickets are $10 and go to support the boosters club.

“This will try and supplement some of the money they’ve lost,” Costa said.

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