Pottsville Area School District will finally allow some fans to attend its home varsity football and volleyball games.
After playing one home football game and several home volleyball matches in front of zero fans, members of the Pottsville Area school board voted Thursday night to change its fan attendance policy.
The move comes after a federal judge ruled that prior restrictions against fan attendance at school sporting events were unconstitutional. Schools across Pennsylvania are now hurriedly changing their attendance policies since that ruling.
Pottsville Amends School Sports Attendance Policies
Pottsville Area banned fans from attending football games and volleyball matches since the beginning of the Fall season. The other sports it competes in did not have the same restrictions based on attendance records from previous years.
School officials didn’t believe attendance at those would come close to those unconstitutional limits previously in place.
Here’s what the new attendance policies will look like for football and volleyball:
New Pottsville Football Fan Attendance Policy
The general public still won’t be permitted into Pottsville’s Veterans Memorial Stadium. But the place will hardly be empty.
Each football player, band and band front member, and cheerleader will get 4 tickets to give out. The tickets cost $5 each. And no tickets will be sold at the stadium gates. Right now, the school’s requiring exact payment for these tickets.
No fans from visiting teams will be allowed in the stadium, at least for now.
Pottsville Athletic Director Eric Rismiller said Thursday, “We want to take baby steps for our first game. I think we have our fans there and livestream for visitors.”
The east and west gates to the stadium will be open for entry into the stadium. The south gate will stay closed for now.
If every ticket is sold and everyone attends, the highest number of fans in the stands with this policy will be 840. Pottsville estimates the capacity at Veterans Memorial Stadium at 5,000. That’s about 17% capacity.
“We feel comfortable with spreading the fans out,” Rismiller told inquisitive school board members before they approved the new policy.
Those attending the football games will be required to wear masks and maintain social distancing. Families can sit together.
However, the school discourages one family from sitting with another family when they’re in the stadium. School security personnel will be patrolling the bleachers to enforce social distancing and mask requirements.
Fans will be spread out through the home and away bleachers.
New Pottsville Volleyball Fan Attendance Policy
Attendance at varsity volleyball games was restricted because the sport is indoors and with both teams, coaches, and officials in place, the previous unconstitutional restriction of 25 people was exhausted quickly.
The school is enacting a fan attendance plan now that mirrors the football fan policy.
Each player will have a chance to buy up to 4 tickets at $5 each. The tickets must be purchased 2 days prior to a game and the exact amount must be paid.
Again, no tickets will be sold at the gate.