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PALMER — Following comments from Attorney General Andrea Campbell concerning the use of cash at sports games, Superintendent Matthew Francis and the Palmer School Committee discussed the future of using GoFan in Palmer.

GoFan is an online platform that offers digital tickets. It’s been used by more than 10,000 schools to simplify buying and selling tickets, according to the company. Palmer first began to use the program in the fall of 2023 for sports tickets, Francis said.

The issue over GoFan was initially raised after Campbell’s recent reaffirmation of the state’s General Law Chapter 225D, Section 10A which states that “retail establishment[s]” cannot require the use of credit and “must accept legal tender when offered as payment by the buyer.”

During the Jan. 17 School Committee meeting, Francis highlighted that GoFan allows Palmer Public Schools to have an accurate and reliable record of ticket sales’ revenue as well as remove the additional procedures needed when handling cash. However, the program does require a $1 fee for each ticket purchased due to fees from credit card companies, he said.

Francis also highlighted the safety benefits of GoFan. “From a safety and security standpoint, GoFan allows us to have a more accurate count of the spectators that are at any sporting event. God forbid something were to happen, we’d have a count and as long as they [GoFan] are giving us the accurate information, we would have the names of the individuals that are there as well,” he explained.

While the superintendent admitted that the school administration could have provided more information to the community prior to the district’s adoption of GoFan, he stated that it was “too soon” to make a final decision on whether to keep using the program in the future.

“I would like to see us go through the basketball season and then we can do a presentation on … the ticket sales: Have we done better with our ticket sales this basketball season as compared to others?” he said. “At that point if there is an action item that we want to provide a cash option as well then, after the presentation, maybe we go that route.”

School Committee Chair Bonny Rathbone questioned whether the district could legally not accept cash at sports games, due to the General Law’s requirement that all tender must be accepted. She also highlighted the inequality that certain sports require paid tickets in Palmer while others do not.

Francis and Sara Menard, the director of finance and operations for Palmer Public Schools, did not immediately have this information and stated that they would include answers to Rathbone’s questions in their coming presentation.

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