By Chris Yow
High school sporting events are going to look very different this fall season, as area schools switch to online ticket outlets and reduce capacity due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Spring Hill athletics drector John Farmer said ticket sales for all sports will be online only via Vanco Events, including Friday night’s Backyard Bowl against Columbia Central.
Tickets for Tuesday’s soccer match against Columbia Academy have already gone on sale, while the ticket link for football will go live at 8 a.m. Monday, Aug. 17. In addition to the online-only sales option, Friday night’s contest will be limited to half of the stadium’s 1,800-seat capacity, meaning only 900 tickets will be available. There is a limit of four tickets per person.
Fans who purchase a ticket online will also be subject to screening prior to stadium entry.
“The purchase of a ticket does not guarantee admission. All fans must be screened for COVID-19. (Fans must) have a temperature of 100.4 degrees or less and wear a mask while in attendance,” Farmer said. “We will not be giving refunds. Due to the screening process, it is recommended that fans arrive early.”
For fans considering a trip to Thompsons Station for Friday night’s Border Battle between Summit and host Independence, tickets will be available via GoFan.co beginning this week. Priority will be given to parents of participating players, cheerleaders and Independence band, with student access after those. If not sold out, remaining tickets will be made available to the public through the online site.
At Summertown, which will host Mt. Pleasant on Friday, fans will be able to purchase tickets at the box office, but will be screened for temperature and will be required to wear a face covering. According to Eagles football coach Leslie Mote, the home bleachers will be reserved seating only, with the visiting bleachers taped off for social distancing.
“We will have some smaller bleachers around the field, and we encourage people to bring lawn chairs for social distancing,” Mote said. “We aren’t limiting how many can come, but if we have issues, we will limit it the next week.”
- Grace Christian, which hosts Zion Christian on Friday night, has a GoFan link as well for online ticket sales, but have not announced any further restrictions on attendance at this time.
- Richland travels to Rogers (AL) on Thursday night for its season-opening contest. The Lauderdale County school has yet to announce any restrictions other than limited attendance.