With Monday marking the opening of volleyball season for Class 4A and below along with small-school football set to kick off in three weeks, school districts across the state have had to come up with district-specific plans for fan attendance to abide by state capacity restrictions.
According to the University Interscholastic League, schools may allow spectators to attend games, contests, or events within a maximum 50% capacity limitation, provided that appropriate spacing between spectators is maintained according to protocol, which includes several other restrictions.
In Grandview, Zebra Stadium’s normal seating capacity holds an estimated 1,830. But with that number cut in half, many fans will be unable to watch in person the two-time defending football state champs’ quest for a third straight state title.
“Football players, band members and cheerleaders are all going to get four wristbands based on our capacity,” Grandview High School Principal Kirby Basham said. “I know four doesn’t sounds like a lot but that’s the only fair way for parents of band kids, cheerleaders and football players to be able to see their kids perform. The student participants’ four wristbands takes up the whole capacity. We felt like the parents needed to be able to get in and watch their kids play and participate.”
Only those with a wristband will be allowed to purchase a ticket and gain entrance into football games, and the same goes for volleyball games.
“I’m very saddened that a number of people that have been to Zebra football games for 30 years aren’t going to get to be there to cheer on this great group of kids,” Basham said. “Hopefully the situation changes in the near future where they can be back in their regular seats.”
In order to make as many seats available as possible, the Grandview band agreed to sit on the corner of the track, which opened an entire section of the home stands.
For fans not able to attend the game, Grandview games are expected to be live streamed via Zebra Sports Network.
Cleburne ISD told the Times-Review it is “still finalizing all the details regarding ticket sales” and that the district will share details when its plan for tickets and seating is finalized. The 2020 season for Cleburne and other Class 5A programs doesn’t begin until Sept. 24.
Yellow Jacket Stadium’s capacity is approximately 3,900. Cleburne ISD is also planning on having a live stream of the game available, but those plans are also in the works.
In Joshua, Athletic Director Gary Robinson said they’re meeting this week to come up with their plans for tickets and seating at Owl Stadium, hoping to make an announcement in the next week or two.
In Rio Vista, Eagle Field’s regular capacity seats less than 1,500 with 1,000 on the home side and 450 on the visitor’s side. So Rio Vista will be limited to 500 home side tickets and 225 visitor’s side tickets. District 7-2A Division I, which is Rio Vista’s new league, decided that only 150 visitor tickets will be available for district games, and that the visiting team’s band will not be able to make the trip. Rio Vista Athletic Director Kasey Black said each participating student will get four tickets for family and/or friends, and then tickets will “go from there,” if there’s any left.
Alvarado ISD just finalized its football ticket plans Monday morning for the 2020 season. Alvarado Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Jeff Dixon said AISD will push for fans to purchase their tickets online.
“We’re going to encourage online purchasing,” Dixon said. “There’s going to be a cutoff at 3:30 p.m. on Fridays for general admission. That will allow us to know there’s, say, 300 general admission tickets left, so that’s what we’ll be able to sell at the home gate. Whatever we didn’t pre-sell online, that number will sell at the gate until we’re done. And when we’re at 50% capacity, we’re done. We don’t have a choice on that.”
There will be 1,248 general admission tickets and 336 reserved seating tickets available on the home side. Reserved tickets must be purchased in person via cash or check before noon Friday at the Alvarado field house.
Dixon said all visiting fans — which will include well-traveling Stephenville and Waco La Vega — must purchase their tickets online.
“Visiting tickets will strictly be online,” Dixon said. “They can’t purchase visiting tickets at the gate. They can purchase tickets online up until game time.”
Dixon also said fans will have to sit on their designated sides — so if home tickets are sold out, Alvarado fans cannot purchase visitor side tickets and vice versa.
More information on Alvarado football ticket sales will be available online in the coming days.
For Burleson ISD home football games for the Burleson Elks and Centennial Spartans, tickets will be sold exclusively online.
“We are implementing contactless, online tickets for all home games,” Burleson ISD Athletic Director Kevin Ozee said. “All tickets will need to be purchased and downloaded to the customer’s phone or printed ahead of time. We will not pre-sell tickets on-campus or at the stadium. Per TEA/UIL COVID guidelines, we must pre-screen all visitors to the stadium so we’ll utilize an online form associated with the online ticketing system. Furthermore, we are under the 50% capacity stadium mandate from the governor. The online ticket system will help us track capacity numbers and to collect customer information for pre-screening protocols.”
Tickets will first be available for purchase to parents of students participating in the game, including football, band, trainers, cheer and drill, then opened up to the general public.
“We will provide a code each week for parents to order their tickets prior to the general public,” Ozee said. “We will open general public tickets after the parents have had a chance to order.”
Ozee said they didn’t have a cutoff date set for parent ticket purchases, but guessed ticket sales to the general public would “probably” start on Wednesdays prior to the game.
All tickets for Burleson ISD home games will be general admission and will only be sold the week of a home game.
Ozee said BISD is exploring opportunities to provide real-time streaming of football games that may require pay-per-view access.
Season tickets for Burleson ISD football will resume when 100% capacity is allowed again. Current season ticket holders will not lose their seats.