MSHSL faces growing deficit

Updated: September 10, 2019 06:42 PM

The Minnesota State High School League faces a projected deficit that is five times larger than just a year ago. MSHSL Executive Director Erich Martens will work with the board and member schools to balance the budget.

"Certainly this year, among many other topics, we will be discussing the financial situation that faces the league," Martens told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS.


The league says it's facing a projected deficit of $407,000 for the 2019/2020 season. That compares to just under $67,000 last year and $37,000 two years ago. Part of the issue is declining attendance over the past three seasons from historic highs, along with a $250,000 investment in updating the league website and information systems.

MSHSL faces issues retaining youth sports officials

Martens says all options will be on the table to balance the budget, including possibly charging for events that are currently free.

"The Minnesota State High School League offers one of the very best experiences for students in all kinds of athletics and activities and we want to continue to maintain that and keep that strong," Martens said. "We also want to be transparent and let people know that it does take money to run these programs."

Martens says the league will also look at the cost of venues where state tournaments are held, including Target Field, U.S. Bank Stadium and Xcel Energy Center. Those venues are under contract for the next year or two, so that will have to be more of a long-term part of the solution.

The MSHSL doesn't receive any state funding.

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Tom Hauser

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