Attendance at local athletic events to differ from normal

Meghan Flynn
Garden City High School students fill a portion of the home grandstands as they cheer for the Buffalo football team during a September 2019 game at Buffalo Stadium. Public attendance at games this year will have a different look in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Crowds at Unified School District 457 athletic events for the 2020-21 school year will be smaller than the previous year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the USD 457 Board of Education meeting Monday, the board approved the activities and athletics section for its COVID-19 reopening plan.

In the section, there are six levels of protective measures.

In Levels 1 and 2, attendance is at full capacity, like normal without COVID-19, with masks recommended.

That changes beginning at Level 3.

Drew Thon, Garden City High School athletic director and assistant principal, said at Level 3 the total capacity of the stadiums and gyms would be reduced by 50%. Masks and temperature checks are required at indoor events.

“We’ll have 50 percent capacity of our students section and we’ll be limiting our visitors to 300 seats out at the stadium,” he said. “The student section outside will be limited to 200 and inside it will be limited to 100. We normally will not have any issues with that. The band will be moved to the south end zone to free up seating for social distancing in the stands.”

At Level 3, all seating is general admission and social distancing is the responsibility of the individual.

At Level 4, attendance is limited to season ticket holders and immediate family. Visitor seating is limited to 200 tickets at the stadium and gym and soccer is limited to 35% attendance.

Masks and temperature checks are required at indoor events and the teams are limited to essential game personnel only.

Tickets will be pre-sold when possible and all tickets and seating are general admission. Social distancing is the responsibility of each person.

The high school student section will be limited to 20% and there will be no middle school students in attendance.

At Level 5, there is no fan attendance and no tickets sold.

At Level 6, there are no competitions; however, practice will still be held virtually.

To make up for the limited seating and restrictions, whenever possible throughout all levels, games will be live streamed through the school district’s YouTube page.