City of South Charleston sets aside thousands for schools' athletic departments

Published: Nov. 5, 2020 at 11:32 PM EST
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SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - The city of South Charleston approved a contribution of $30,000 for the South Charleston High School athletic department.

“One day I just started thinking there’s no fans in the stands, no concession stands, I’m sure that their normal contributions are down,” said Mayor Frank Mullens. “So I reached out to both athletic directors to ask that question and they were both kind of like ‘we don’t know.’”

Bryce Casto is the athletic director at the high school. He said now, with limited fans and no running concession stand, they’re not generating nearly as much revenue as they typically would.

“Your cost centers remain in athletics however, your revenue streams have dried up with the limited attendance, (and) that’s a great challenge,” Casto said.

But he said receiving the contribution from the city is a big weight off their shoulders.

“(The city is) wonderful, very supportive of the high school, we really appreciate Mayor Mullens, the city council and the city of south Charleston," Casto said.

WSAZ also reached out to other school throughout our region who are also dealing with similar struggles. Huntington High School Athletic Director Bruce Senior gave WSAZ this statement:

“COVID-19 has had a negative impact on athletics at Huntington High School. We had the regular start-up expenses for sports and the expenses for games remained the same, as well. Have to buy balls, recondition equipment, replace or buy new uniforms and other expenses. With the limited fan attendance at games, it has created worries about what is ahead.”

Putnam County Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services Bruce McGrew said he thinks they will notice the shortfall next year.

“With basketball coming up, it’s definitely going to have an impact, it may not be seen immediately due to proper budgeting last year by athletic departments in schools but it will definitely be seen next year," McGrew said.

Mullens said the council also set aside up to $20,000 for the South Charleston Middle School athletic department. They’re just waiting on the school to request how much of the money they need to make up for their losses, as well.

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