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MHSAA: More fans allowed at games immediately

Previously, each participant was allowed two fans. Now, crowd and gathering sizes have changed.
The Michigan High School Athletic Association, file photo.

Following the Michigan Supreme Court's ruling that turned down Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's recent executive orders, more fans are now allowed at high school sporting events, as outlined in new guidance from the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA).

Previously, each participant was allowed two fans. Now, crowd and gathering sizes have changed. Effective immediately, more fans are allowed at games — three days earlier than an order from Whitmer would have allowed. 

As of Oct. 6, fixed outdoor seating venues – such as football or soccer stadiums – will be allowed 30% of seating capacity for up to 1,000 spectators. Stadiums that seat 3,333 or more will be able to sell 1,000 spectator tickets. Stadiums that seat less that 3,333 will be able to sell 30% of its maximum seating capacity.

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Outdoor events that are not in a fixed outdoor seating venue – such as golf or cross country – will be able to maintain no more than 30 spectators per 1,000 square feet of the venue, with a maximum of 1,000 spectators.

“We realize this will be challenging to enforce in cross country and golf in particular given the massive expanse of many cross country and golf courses,” a news release from the MHSAA reads. “In these cases, use every opportunity possible to announce and remind all involved to keep social distancing at all times.”

Indoor sporting events are also now allowed to welcome spectators. Events in fixed indoor seating venues – such as a gymnasium or a pool – are allowed 20% of seating capacity for up to 500 spectators. Venues that seat 2,500 or more can sell up to 500 spectator tickers. Venues that seat less than 2,500 can sell 20% of its maximum capacity.

RELATED: Rockford's homecoming football game canceled due to COVID-19

The new guidelines released Tuesday also touched on mask wearing, stating that no change has been made to the face covering requirements. Masks are still required for fall athletes in football, soccer and volleyball. Face coverings are also required for everyone else present including coaches, trainers, managers, media members, game administration and spectators.

The MHSAA said it will continue to communicate with stakeholders to clarify the status of COVID-19 restrictions for school districts and school sports.

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