Chicago (CBS) – Graduation ceremonies are taking on a special significance this year – For so many graduating seniors, this is one of the only high school milestones they will be able to attend in person.
So why are some Chicago public high schools strictly limiting tickets—even at big venues like Soldier Field? CBS 2 political investigator Dana Kozlov was digging for answers on Wednesday.
The Soldier Field has a capacity of 61,500. It’s the site of two dozen high school graduates this season — all post-pandemic celebrations.
But some parents of soon-to-be Chicago public school graduates say some family members will be forced to recall.
“We had to sit there and lay it down,” said Molly Ingrafia. “Younger brother has to go? Do we leave the grandparents?”
That’s because despite the state’s reopening and Soldier Field’s huge potential, Ingrafia’s family is only getting four tickets.
“It’s just tough, because they’ve gone through such a tough year,” Ingrafia said. “They’ve lost a lot and all these really special programs that are part of high school, and then they get this gift of graduation — and they can’t be surrounded and supported by their families at the moment.”
Ingrafia’s son, Andy, attends Lane Technical High School, 2501 W. Edison St. Its graduating class has about 1,100 students.
Lori Mulderink’s son Matthew also goes there.
“It just seems inconsistent with other messages that are going around town,” Mulderink said.
If you do the math, four tickets per family and graduates means a total of 5,500 people in the military sector – less than 10 percent of its capacity. The current stadium has a capacity of 60 per cent capacity.
“It’s hard when you’ve been given this gift, but now it feels restricted and unfair,” Ingrafia said.
It turns out it’s not a matter of fairness – it’s contractual. A spokesman for Soldier Field said Lane Tech’s current contract, negotiated during the COVID restrictions, only allows four tickets per bachelor.
The school may renegotiate to get more like other schools. But it costs money – about $ 10 per ticket.
“If it doesn’t turn out, it will be very disappointing – in a year that was already somewhat disappointing,” Mulderink said. “But you, obviously, we have to follow the rules.
Kozlov reached out to Lane Tech to see if re-negotiating was being considered. There has been no response.
So for now, as always, tickets will remain a hot commodity.
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