UnPROMising Ticket Sales Reflect Students’ Dissatisfaction

By Jia Williams, Opinion Editor

One hundred thirty-five.

That’s how many tickets were sold to this year’s prom. That’s just over 50% of the number sold to last year’s prom.

Some have speculated that this dramatic drop in ticket sales is a result of high ticket prices and the dance’s controversial quality.

In an effort to attract more students to prom, recent junior class officers, who plan the dance, have increased spending on venues, DJs, and catering. To offset these expenses, ticket prices have gone as high as $60 in the past three years. For many students, $60 for a weekend activity is far out of reach.

“The dinner, corsage, and tuxes are already expensive enough without the added price for a ticket,” said Reno Sholeh (12).

The issue of expensive prom tickets is hardly local. In many other schools, prom has gone from being held in school gyms to being hosted on luxurious yachts and in expensive hotels.

According to ABC News, the national average cost of attending prom has reached well above $1000. This average includes aspects of prom other than the tickets, such as hair, makeup, and nails for girls. When prom seems to necessitate fancy dresses and limos, some students find it unrealistic to attend.

“The total really adds up,” says Reno. “Especially since I’m paying for my date’s ticket and dinner as well.”

In addition to cost issues, many feel that they are not receiving a quality experience in exchange for the hefty ticket price. Students are dissatisfied with repetitive location and themes. Prom has been held at the Westin hotel in Tysons Corner since current seniors were freshmen.

The event’s negative reputation has dissuaded many from buying tickets in the first place. “I got influenced by how many kids last year were complaining how trashy it was,” says Prima Filart (12). “So I chose not to go.”

While some argue for a more elaborate venue, AP Psychology teacher Nicholas Hartman suggests hosting prom in the gym to lower ticket prices substantially.

”It’s more accessible for students, they can walk here, and we can make sure there’s still good decorations, DJs, and catering.”

Until significant changes are made to prom, some feel that ticket sales will continue to decline. “Until they make the dance more unique and affordable, I think the amount of kids attending prom will decrease as the years go by,” says Marina Youssef (12), “We’re broke high school students, so we need more bang for our buck.”