This week, Governor Phil Murphy signed S-2902 (P.L.2023, c.161) into law. Chapter 161 goes into effect immediately for the current school year. The legislation modifies existing legal requirements established back in 2007 for ticket prices at postseason interscholastic athletic events. At the time, key legislators acted upon their concerns with the cost of postseason ticket events for families. Since the original law, costs have dramatically increased for postseason games and Chapter 161 seeks to restore some balance to this issue.
The newly signed law essentially prohibits associations that oversee statewide interscholastic sports (the NJSIAA) from increasing ticket prices for playoff games, as compared to regular season games, unless the increased prices are required to offset event-related expenses. These expenses can include, but are not limited to venue costs, staffing, security, or insurance costs.
The law retains some pricing limitations including pricing at public school venue. For example, the law limits an adult postseason ticket price increase to 300% of the cost of a regular season adult ticket charged for a comparable event at the same school district. The law requires NJSIAA to offer discounted prices on student tickets for playoff games due to economic hardship, as determined by the student’s school principal. These discounts can be extended to other groups after consultation between the school district and NJSIAA.
To monitor compliance with the law, the NJSIAA must file playoff game ticket prices with the New Jersey Department of Education at least 60 days before the scheduled playoff game. This deadline can be extended to 30 days prior to the scheduled playoff game if circumstances dictate.
The measure went into effect immediately upon the governor’s signature.