Capacity limited for Decatur-Austin football game

Decatur City Schools is limiting attendance at the game to about 3,000 and marked off seating on Monday.

Posted: Aug 24, 2020 7:20 PM

High school football is in full swing after the first set of games just last week.

Now, schools are figuring out how they're going to keep fans and players safe as thousands pack their stadiums.

This friday is the Decatur - Austin game, a Morgan County rivalry that’s been raging on for decades.

“I feel confident we'll max out and we'll have people that just won't be able to get here. And that's something that we hate, we don't like it,” Watt Parker, Decatur City Schools' athletic director, said.

On Monday, district crews were out at Austin High School marking seating at the football stadium. For the game, student sections have been marked with caution tape. Anyone with a general admission ticket is asked to use the blue markings in the stands to gage social distancing.

Parker told me attendance for the game will be limited to about 3,000 -- a number the district came to agree on in compliance with the department of public health and Alabama High School Athletic Association guidelines. The stadium has a capacity of nearly 5,100.

"You're gonna have to wear a mask,” Parker said. “There's gonna be interaction with people, we're requiring masks for entry, we're requiring masks if you aren't social distancing and, to be very frank, with this game there's probably going to be nowhere that you can really maintain social distancing."

The district will be strictly enforcing the guidelines in the student section and asking the rest of the crowd to use their best judgement.

"If there is an issue, we reserve the right to refuse entry or ask you to leave, but we're going to expect people to know the guidelines and abide by them and we're gonna have PSAs consistently throughout the game, we've got signage up everywhere, explaining to them exactly what the expectations are."

Parker said the district made an effort to make sure that stakeholders parents and families have access to tickets first.

The game will also air on the NFHS network.

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