HOUSTON COUNTY, Ga. — High school football season will look much different than it has in years past, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. School districts across the state are putting in plans to make sure their fans, players and coaches are safe. The Houston County Board of Education has implemented their own guidelines to make sure a night at a football stadium is safe.
Houston County will limit ticket lines opt for cashless options. In Houston County's case, the school will use the app GoFan.
GoFan allows the option to buy a ticket online with a phone. At Houston County High, you can buy an All Sports pass which allows entry into any HoCo home game for the rest of the year.
"We've got other schools that will be doing presales throughout the week, whether it be after school drive through or some other avenue. We're going to do presales as much as we can so we're not doing it at the gate," said Chris Brown, executive director for school operations in Houston County.
Many tickets will be available as early as Wednesday. If you didn't get a ticket beforehand, you can still pull up to the ticket counter and buy one at the gate, but there is a chance they could be sold out.
Once inside social distancing will be a priority.
"We're going to mark it off so that you can see what six feet looks like, so you can respect that space around yourself and others," Brown said.
Masks will not be required among family units, but HCBOE is encouraging people to wear face coverings when going places like the bathroom or concession stand.
"Obviously we're encouraging face coverings. It could be a mask, it could be a shield. It's up to the individual. We're encouraging that and that's not something we're going to come out and require of the spectators, because the whole point of social distancing is to give that six foot barrier between you and another family," Brown said.
Stadium capacity will be limited. When it comes to football, Houston County has not come to a definitive percentage yet, but 50 percent has been suggested. It will mean people with sports passes, band members, and people with season passes are all counted in that number. Thus, ordering tickets in advance should become a priority to ensure entry.
HCBOE recognizes the severity of the situation, but want to make sure they offer every opportunity for their athletes to compete in a safe environment.
"We've got seniors this year that are banking on this season for scholarships and to get that education paid for at the next level and so we're looking forward to the opportunity to do this as safely as possible," Brown said.
Ultimately, how safe the stands will be comes down to each individual's responsibility to him or herself and others. Social distancing, washing hands after using the bathroom or touching your face and wearing a mask can help everyone enjoy a good time on a Football Friday Night.