ANDERSON, SC (WSPA)–High school football fans will see some major changes this season.
With social distancing and CDC guidelines, there will be a multitude of changes, but for schools like T.L. Hanna, football will still happen.
“There’s nothing like Friday night lights and once I really got to experience that on the field, there’s nothing that compares to it,” said Dawson Murk, a former football player in Anderson County.
Murk said the new stadium guidelines at schools like T.L. Hanna, is something he’ll have to get used to.
“I feel like they won’t get the experience that we got. We had packed out stands. It’ll be kind of weird playing football without that many fans, because that’s kind of what gets you going,” Murk said.
T.L. Hanna Athletic Director John Cann said approximately 5,500 fans would normally attend games, but due to covid-19, this year there will only be 1,000. Band members will be sit near the end zone to free up seating.
“Typically there are kids and people all over this facility during the football game and that’s not going to be the case. We’re even encouraging, if you’re a middle school kid, you’re going to have to come in with your parent or you can’t come. And that’s to prevent the loitering around,” Cann said.
Fans will sit six feet a part, and everyone must stay at their seats at all times. Those who go to the concession stand and the restroom, will also have to be socially distant.
Masks are also require for all fans.
“And if you don’t wear a mask, you’re going to be escorted out of the stadium. You will not enter here without a mask on,” Cann said.
The school will have about 280 to 300 tickets for sale for students and parents who didn’t purchase one of their 400 football passes.
“We’ll go live on a typical Tuesday of a game week at 7 a.m. and those will go live and when those 290 tickets or whatever it is, it can move and when they’re gone, they’re gone,” Cann said. “We anticipate most weeks, that by the time we get to a Friday night game, all of the tickets are already sold,” he added.
All tickets will be sold online, and there will be a pay per view option via Hudl, if you can’t make it in-person.
“And just for under $10 buy a pay per view ticket to watch our football game,” Cann said.
While things may look different, school leaders said they’re glad to have football back.
“Hey, nobody likes this. I’d rather have 6,000 people in here having a blast. There’s not a mask in sight,” Cann said. “Right now, we’re thankful we get to have football. Our kids need to play,” he added.
Murk said he just wishes Friday night football experiences would go back to normal.
“It makes me feel good that they’re trying to keep people safe, but at the same time, it’s kind of like missing out on your high school experience,” Murk said.
All ticket information will be released at the start of each home game week.
T.L. Hanna’s first home game is set for October 9th.
You can find more information about T.L. Hanna’s requirements and season, here.
It’s important to note, many districts will have different stadium requirements across the Upstate.