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Says Enforcing State Law Will Benefit New Jerseyans, Vows Reform and Changes

(TRENTON) – Assemblyman John Burzichelli on Friday praised and thanked acting Commissioner of Education Bret Schundler for affirming that the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association cannot charge higher ticket prices for playoff games than it does for tickets during the regular season.

“This is a victory for New Jersey residents and a rebuke to a runaway agency that flagrantly flouted our law to continue their excessive ways,” said Burzichelli (D-Gloucester/Cumberland/Salem). “I thank Commissioner Schundler and the Attorney General’s Office for doing the right thing and defending New Jersey residents against this bloated agency. They must be congratulated for enforcing the law and siding with hard-working New Jerseyans.”

Burzichelli sponsored a 2007 law that took effect on Jan. 29, just in time for high school wrestling tournaments. 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, but the group still increased tickets prices for wrestling tournaments held in high school facilities.

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

“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,” Burzichelli said. “Unfortunately, that’s what this group was trying to do by willfully violating the law in a self-serving and arrogant way. Now it must stop.”

Burzichelli said he would now move forward on his efforts to take a close look at the agency and its staff and pursue reforms.

“The days of this agency running roughshod over residents and our laws needs to end,” Burzichelli said. “Commissioner Schundler’s decision has brought that closer to reality, and I will follow-up to make sure real reform is realized for the benefit of New Jerseyans.”

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