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Law Reining-in Playoff Ticket Prices in Effect Just in Time for Wrestling Tourneys

(TRENTON) – Assemblyman John Burzichelli on Friday heralded some good news for New Jersey’s high school sports fans – a state law reining-in high school playoff tickets prices has taken effect just in time for high school wrestling tournaments.

“The clock has finally and thankfully run out on the days of charging exorbitant prices for high school playoff games and tournaments,” said Burzichelli (D-Gloucester/Cumberland/Salem). “Thanks to our new law, great community events like high school playoffs and tournaments will be affordable in these difficult economic times.”

The law was approved on Jan. 29, 2007 and became effective a week ago.

Burzichelli first drafted the law in late 2004, following complaints from high school football fans outraged that tickets for New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association playoff contests in South Jersey cost more than double what some schools charged for regular season admission.

The new law was designed to control excessive spending and ticket-pricing practices by the management of the NJSIAA, a voluntary organization made up of 425 accredited public, private and parochial high schools in the state.

The law prohibits New Jersey’s school districts from joining sport associations that charge exorbitant ticket prices for playoff competitions, increase licensing fees for broadcasts of playoff games or require schools to pay excessive membership fees.

“Quite simply, when fans go to wrestling tournaments, they will pay no more than what they paid during the regular season to get into their high school gym,” Burzichelli said. “They won’t pay higher prices. That’s something I’ve long looked forward to seeing.”

Under the law, the NJSIAA is allowed to increase ticket prices during playoff matches only if the games are played in a venue outside a high school stadium with the authority of the Commissioner of Education.

“High school sports are supposed to be part of the high school experience,” Burzichelli said. “We should never allow a situation to exist in which parents, families and supporters have to think twice about attending a sports competition because the cost of tickets has been set too high.”

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