Specht: Supporting high school football is economic development

It seems all of Minden is asking the same question lately, “When will The Pit be ready for football?” The answers are varied, but one thing is clear — Minden will miss some home games this year.

It would be easy to point fingers, ask “Why?,” or just get mad. However, that doesn’t help matters. Minden High School is still playing football. There will be some home games this year. When the stadium and field are ready, there will be much rejoicing.

However, the team, and school still need our help. With the loss of at least two home games, that means the loss of ticket, concession and other revenues. These revenues help fund many aspects of the football program. Their loss will be felt.

Haughton High School has graciously agreed to split the gate (tickets) with Minden. That will help a little. But what else can be done? Here are a few suggestions:

Show up to the Haughton game next week. With the split gate, a strong showing will help the overall revenue, which will help make up for some of the money that will be lost this season.

Come to every home game. At this point, it looks like Minden will have only three home games during the regular season this year. While things like homecoming, and the grand opening of The Pit are sure to bring larger-than-normal crowds, we can take those numbers even higher.

Join the Booster Club. The Minden Crimson Football Booster Club provides much-needed support to the team, coaches, and staff. As a 501c3, contributions to the booster club are tax deductible. Membership starts at just $5.00 annually. Interested? Send an email to mindenfootballboosters@gmail.com.

Those things can help the team in the short run, but it should not stop there. Regardless of one’s position concerning athletics, it is clear that high school football is an economic engine in many communities. Minden is no different.

During each home gameday, local businesses and restaurants have the opportunity to reap the benefits of increased activity before and after the teams take the field.

In addition, community pride swells when the local team is doing well. That pride turns into money spent on logowear, stickers, signs, banners, and other team-related merchandise.

Support of our high school football teams is truly economic development.

Once the stadium and field are finished, the sense of excitement for Minden High Football will be much higher than normal. It will be the perfect time to look at long-term needs, both for the football team, and all athletics. We, as a community, will gladly get behind projects aimed at meeting those needs — or at least we should.

Over the next ten weeks, some of the greatest memories in the lives of us all will be made. It it just part of the high school football experience. Let it also be the time where we as a community came together, put our hand to the plow, reached in our wallets, and did something really special.

How awesome would it be if our kids could look back at this season as the place where Minden shined — on and off the field? The “Home of Champions” needs to be more than a mantra. Let’s make it our mission.

David Specht is president of Specht Newspapers, Inc. He may be reached via email at dspecht@press-herald.com.

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