In a strong public relations move, Williams College has abolished the admission charge to all regular season home athletic events.
There will continue to be an entrance fee to all post-season games held at the college.
The decision to cancel entrance fees, which was made by the College, is meant to make it easier for members of the local community to attend games. Williams’s students have always been allowed free admission to home events.
“Williams has eliminated these fees to make attendance at events more open and to help local residents feel more a part of Williams events,” said Dick Quinn, director of sports information. “This applies to the annual Homecoming football game with either Amherst or Wesleyan.”
The school used to charge four dollars for football games and five dollars for the Homecoming game. Men’s basketball games were also four dollars, as were women’s basketball games that were front-ends of a doubleheader with a men’s game. Now, the only charges are for playoff games and parking fees for the tailgate section at Weston Field.
“I think it’s a wise decision by the college to let people in for free,” said Jay Porcelli ’03, a member of the football and baseball teams. “It is important that we let the community know that we want them to be a part of the special moments that happen on the athletic fields.”
Charging people seemed to be unnecessary, given the extremely large endowment the college receives on an annual basis. According to Quinn, the revenue made from the admission charge was used to pay off “general expenses.”
Homecoming football game attendance, which is usually more than 10,000 people, could possibly go up after this decision.
Members of the College hope that attendance will increase, but not because it will generate more revenue for the school. “I hope that more people come out to the games now,” said Porcelli. “All games are a big thrill, but they’ll be even more of an experience if there are more people out supporting our teams.”