After Judge Tosses Gathering Limits, School Districts Plan To Have Football Games With Over 250 Fans

After Judge Tosses Gathering Limits, School Districts Plan To Have Football Games With Over 250 Fans

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – It’s been a busy week when it comes to high school sports and who can attend Friday’s games.

First, a federal judge denied Gov. Tom Wolf’s stay when it comes to the ruling that the state’s gathering limits are unconstitutional. Then on Wednesday, the House lawmakers didn’t get the votes to overrule the governor’s veto on the “spectator bill.”


“We had a Plan A if the restrictions of 250 were still in play, and we had Plan B if those restrictions were lifted. Fortunately, with everything that took place with the legislation and federal ruling this week, we were able to go with the larger of two plans,” said Ringgold athletic director Laura Grimm.


This Friday is the school district’s first home game and homecoming, but the school does not plan to pack the stands.


“We are still obligated to follow the CDC guidelines and that requires social distancing of 6 feet and for all spectators to wear masks. So, it really did require us to go up into the stands and measure out how many people we could fit with 6 foot distance all around and from there we were able to get to that total of 340,” Grimm told KDKA.


Without visitor seating, those 340 spectators will include only the home band, football and cheer parents. There will be two tickets given to each student.


“I think that’s probably my biggest regret, I would love more than anything to have Uniontown fans here because I know they want to watch their kids too,” Grimm said.


In light of this week’s changes, more school districts are making fan changes.


Hampton Township School District is updating its plan to allow each student participant to receive two tickets starting on Friday. The new interim plan applies to both indoor and outdoor athletic events.


“It is our hope that this plan will evolve over time to include more fan participation. We will continue to monitor legislative and local trends and make changes as appropriate,” said Hampton Township School Superintendent Dr. Michael Loughead.


At the North Hills School District, starting Friday parents will now receive two tickets instead of just one, plus two tickets will be given to the visiting team parents as well.


While the team is away this week, the North Allegheny Tigers plan to have fans inside the stadium for the first time this season for the next home game.


“As long as you can social distance and wear masks, that is what we want. Again, we are probably being more conservative, we are only going to bring into our stadium a little less than 15 percent,” said North Allegheny athletic director Bob Bozzuto.


West Jefferson Hills will host its first home football game Friday night and administrators are allowing fans in as well.


Those administrators told KDKA each member of the band, cheerleading squad and football team received two tickets. The district did not permit visiting fans this week.