Small cheers for some fans in the stands
We have been trained in the last seven months to expect the unexpected when it comes to Gov. Tom Wolf. Earlier this week, Wolf announced new policies regarding attendance that impacts our sports world — from high school athletics to the pros.
“Regardless of the size of an event or gathering, those things are still imperative to stopping the spread of COVID,” he said. “We know everyone has sacrificed in many ways and today’s announcement reflects a gradual adjustment to our lives as we learn how we can do things safely until we have a cure, or an effective vaccine is widely available.”
Wolf has received plenty of criticisms and challenges regarding his handling of COVID-19, but no one has done it perfectly. That being said, and with high school sports in full gear, this is as good a time as any to make some adjustments.
As was reported Wednesday, the new guidelines on attendance have everything to do with full capacity. Indoors, with maximum capacity at 2,000 people, the allowable rate is 20% capacity and 2,001 to 10,000 at 15 percent capacity.
Outdoors, occupancy of up to 2,000 people allows for 25% of capacity. From 2,0001 to 10,000 seats, its 20% capacity.
This is not a perfect solution, but it is a fairly happy medium for those who follow local athletics. Even we, as the media, are being overly careful in how we staff some of the events taking place at the county schools. We have been in touch with the athletics staff to make sure there is room for a writer and photographer to be at the stadium.
Nothing is a given in this uncertain era.
Also of note, the Pittsburgh Steelers will open Heinz Field to fans for the first time this year. Capacity on Sunday will be 7,500, but that also takes into account the players and staff for the team and its opponent, the Eagles.
About 5,500 fans will be spread out across the stadium.
Warren’s other nearby football team, the Buffalo Bills, were hoping to allow for 7,000 fans as soon as next week’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs. As of this time, that appears very unlikely.
John D’Agostino is the regional editor for the Times Observer, The Post-Journal and the OBSERVER in Dunkirk, N.Y. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (716) 487-1111, ext. 253.