Keepin’ The Lights On

By Alex Stewart | Dec. 8, 2015

Playing under the Friday night lights in Arizona may not be as cheap as you think.

In the Tempe Union High School District, players only have to pay $50 to cover a program support fee to the district. But, depending on the school, it can take up to $750 per player to keep the program running and equipment up to date.

With such a high cost, some students and their families lack the means to cover it all, which is why booster clubs have become a popular way of contributing to the programs. Booster clubs are basically organizations functioning as individual entities that allow students and parents alike to participate in fundraising efforts, or allow for donations to be made in order to help the boys play.

One of the strongest booster programs in the area is at Desert Vista High School. The program is headed by Alan Money (a very fitting name). Money helps put on events like Beach Bash to raise money. Money also raises funds for the school's football team through planned events and initiatives like, "Thunder Cards," discount cards players sell around the community. Opportunities like those can bring in numbers north of $20,000, all of which goes directly to the football program.

So while budgets may be getting cut across Arizona, booster clubs, in addition to parent and player support and participation, are making it possible to keep the lights on come Friday nights in the fall.

Click on the football to get a look at about how much it takes to maintain an elite football program like Desert Vista.