Everything about the New Jersey South Jersey Group 4 football championship game went according to plan for Pennsauken (N.J.) High, which emerged from its game against Millville (N.J.) South High with a memorable, 55-34 victory to claim a state title. At least everything inside the Rowan University Stadium went according to plan. The problems came from trying to get fans into the stadium in the first place.
As reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer, hundreds of New Jersey football fans missed much of the first quarter of Pennsauken's state title victory -- highlights from which you can see above -- while they waited in huge lines outside the Rowan ticket gates, with the stream of fans into the stands moving at a crawl. The culprit for the delay? A $0.50 ticket hike.
To be more specific, the issue had nothing to do with fans trying to avoid paying the new ticket hike, but rather with the state officials who were running the Rowan ticket office. According to the Inquirer, the facility failed to have enough quarters to give fans accurate and quick change for their $5.50 entrance fee.
While it might seem incredible that a facility wouldn't stock enough quarters to provide change for an accurate count of fans, the quarter shortfall is even more ridiculous when you consider the fact that the facility went to the New Jersey Interscholastic Athletic Association as soon as it heard of the $5.50 ticket price and begged top level executives at the governing body to change the price to avoid just such a disaster scenario.
"We met with them right after we received the ticket prices ... and the first thing we asked was, 'Why $5.50?' " NJSIAA assistant director Larry White, the Rowan site director, told the Inquirer. "We told them this was going to be a nightmare for the ticket booths."
In the end, it was exactly the nightmare White had foreseen, creating a major headache for the stadium, fans and the teams which they were patiently waiting to cheer on inside.
- the Philadelphia Inquirer