New Cashless Online Ticket Paying System Upsets Some

New ELHS online ticket buying system leaves many family members and students outside the gates


Students and parents wait in line to get into ELHS sporting events.

Ted Bergman

Pull out your debit card, because EL’s athletic games have gone cashless.

ELHS has adopted a system of online payments for athletic games through the digital ticketing website GoFan. Stamps, tear-off tickets, and cash are no more than a memory for students at ELHS. Athletic Director Steven Hargis and administrative assistant in Athletics Terri Mauthe spearheaded the cash- to-contactless change last spring.

“We used to have to count the money in the cash boxes five times. We were counting $1,000 five times to make sure no cash was lost or stolen. Even the main office had to count it,” Ms. Mauthe said.

“Now, the system is seamless. The online system is just a more streamlined and efficient business model,” said Mr. Hargis.

The athletic department’s enthusiasm, however, is not matched by all students and parents.

“GoFan is super inconvenient. I preferred the old days where we would pay with cash,” said junior and football fan Spencer Kennedy.

Students without personal debit cards have felt the change more intensely. Since cash is not an option, getting into a game is never a solo endeavor for these fans. To acquire a ticket, they must rely on other people, such as parents or friends.

“Paying is way more difficult online. You have to get your mom or dad’s credit card. They’ll pay for you, but it’s still a hassle for both the student and their parents,” said sophomore and regular game attendee Michael Timpano.

Ticket takers, such as Spanish teacher Danielle Holsapple, have experienced a wide spectrum of reactions to GoFan.

“I’ve received more backlash from adults than from kids. Adults will get really ticked. I’ve been yelled at, sworn at, and had people refuse to pay. When they walk past me and I stop them, they say, ‘well get security then!’” said Ms. Holsapple.

Ms. Holsapple is familiar with struggles that students like Timpano have faced. Without a credit or debit card, paying can become difficult.

“Some of the kids like GoFan because they already have Apple Pay or Google Pay or whatever and it is easy for them. But a lot of the kids, especially middle schoolers, freshmen, and sophomores, are frustrated because they don’t have a way to pay. Either they didn’t know in advance and don’t have a debit card yet, or their parents have already dropped them off and they don’t have a phone. It catches them off guard,” said Ms. Holsapple. The athletic department thinks that complaints will lessen once people fully adjust to the new system.

“Some people say, ‘Oh, I don’t have a credit card.’ But all of these same people are going to Mohegan Sun to see our teams play, whether it’s for basketball or volleyball. Guess what? All of those people are paying online,” said Mr. Hargis.

Mr. Hargis noticed a similar phenomenon in the past, when cash was still the norm.

“Some people will still want to pay with cash. But when we used to do cash, some people would say ‘Oh, I don’t carry cash, I never carry cash on me,’” said Mr. Hargis.

Mr. Hargis said that the $1 price increases are due to the transaction fee from GoFan, and that the Athletic Department has no interest in collecting more revenue. Still, students like Kennedy and Timpano have criticized the higher prices.

“Some people are saying the games are too expensive. But there is an all-season sports pass available for students for $15. And if someone truly can’t afford a game, arrangements can be made. No one is ever denied entry,” said Ms. Mauthe.