PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Dan Swartos had good news to share Thursday, when he met with the Legislature’s Government Operations and Audit Committee to discuss the annual audit of the South Dakota High School Activities Association.
State law requires the association to have an annual audit done and present it to the Legislature. Unlike a few of the prior years, nothing in the 2022 report drew a red flag. “It was a clean audit, with no findings,” said Swartos, the association’s executive director.
He also reported that COVID-19 no longer was affecting the schedule of sporting and scholastic events the association oversees.
According to the 2022 audit, the association “saw attendance and ticket sales at state and sub-state events increase, with the numbers falling more in line with those seen prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. State events increased by $814,011 (or 77.07%) over FY21, due to the lessening of restrictions and general public uneasiness from the COVID-19 pandemic. Sub-state events also increased from FY21 by $262,998 (or 44.36%) for the same reasons.”
And the post-2022 outlook was clearly upbeat: “With the COVID-19 pandemic now mostly behind us, SDHSAA anticipates its state and sub-state events to continue to stay the course for the foreseeable future.”
The 2021 audit told a different story: “Throughout the year, SDHSAA saw decreased attendance and ticket sales at state and sub-state events. Sub-state events in particular decreased by $274,715 (or 31.66%) due to facility limitations and general public uneasiness during the COVID-19 pandemic. State events as a whole saw a slight increase from FY20, though most of the increase can be attributed to the cancellation of the state track and basketball tournaments in FY20 skewing revenues and expenses.”
The 2020 audit noted the grim arrival of the coronavirus: “During the year, SDHSAA total revenue decreased by $905,699 (or 27.70%) due to COVID19 event cancellations. Additionally, expenses related to these activities decreased by $583,780 (or 37.28%).”
The 2019 audit found no problems.