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MHSAA to allow up to 1,000 fans at football games starting Oct. 9

Portage Central FB team masks.jpeg
Portage Central football players pose for a team picture wearing face masks made by moms of several of the players, during team photo day Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. (WWMT/Jullea Stolsky)

The Michigan High School Athletics Association increased the number of spectators allowed at games, Executive Director Mark Uyl said Wednesday.

Starting Oct. 9, 2020, the new order capped spectators depending on the size of the sporting venue and the region it falls under.

Uyl said indoor venues in Regions 1-5 and 7 allowed to hold 20% of their seating capacity up to 500 spectators, and indoor venues in Regions 6 and 8 able to be at 25% capacity.

If a gymnasium or pool seats 2,500 or more, the venue could sell 500 spectator tickets, but if the gym seats less than 2,500, only 20%, or 25% in Regions 6 and 8, will be able to enter, Uyl said.

For football and soccer stadium, the order allowed 30% of seating capacity or up to 1,000 spectators. If a stadium seats 3,333 or more, you would be able to sell 1,000 spectator tickets.

If an outdoor event is not in a fixed outdoor seating venue, such as cross country, golf, or a soccer field with no permanent or fixed seating, a site must maintain no more than 30 spectators per 1,000 square feet of the facility, up to a maximum of 1,000 spectators, Uyl said.

When spectator tickets are sold in advance, the availability of those tickets must be divided on a 50-50 basis between the home and visiting school. Tickets can also be sold at the gate on a first-come, first-serve basis, and spectators will be admitted on a first-come first-serve basis.

MHSAA's announcement followed Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's recent order that allowed more people to gather indoors and outdoors.

Samantha May is a digital news producer, and can be reached at samay@sbgtv.com.