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Ohio schools will soon be required to accept cash at all ticketed events


A new law within Ohio's recently signed state budget will require schools to accept cash for admission into all school-affiliated events. That means schools that switched to digital-only tickets in recent years must change how they operate.

The new rules that go into this fall will give those wanting to attend sporting events the option to purchase a ticket online ahead of time if offered, or buy one at the gate with cash. If a school is unable to process cash at one of its events and a person only wants to pay in cash, the school will be required to let that person in for free, according to the law.

Schools will also need to accept cash at one or more of its concession stands. If the school facility has multiple concession stands on different floors, cash must be accepted at a stand on each floor.

While digital tickets will still be allowed, districts like Cincinnati Public Schools will be required to change their ticketing system. The district currently sells digital-only tickets to its events but tells WVXU it's prepared to offer cash ticket options when the law goes into effect later this year.

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After the state budget was passed last week, the Ohio High School Athletic Association sent a memo to its member schools informing them of the upcoming change. The OHSAA itself currently only sells digital tickets to its regional and state tournaments but plans to offer guidance to schools that operate digital-only ticket sales once it has more information in the coming weeks.

The final version of the law doesn't specify if the new rules will affect how statewide tournament tickets are sold. An OHSAA spokesperson tells WVXU the law doesn't address if schools are required to allow free admission if they can't provide exact change to individuals, although they assume change must be provided at the gate.

The new rules will be in place at the beginning of October.

Zack Carreon is Education reporter for WVXU, covering local school districts and higher education in the Tri-State area.