‘It’s just coming at the right time’: parents react to new athletic venue capacity rule

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — North Carolina’s new executive order goes into effect Friday. It comes at just the right time for high school football fans.

It will allow sports venues to have up to 30 percent of their normal capacity. High school football and basketball fans say even if the stands can’t be full, they’re excited more people will be able to come to games.

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“Having a little bit of normalcy in their life outside of just doing virtual learning, I think it’s just great for the community as a whole,” said Marquette Sadler, a J.H. Rose High School parent.

It’s been an interesting year for high school sports.

“I’m a parent of a senior and with everything going on with the pandemic, it’s just been really hard on the players, on the parents, coaches, everybody involved,” said Sadler.

Finally, high school football is back. Some games were played on Thursday with the possibility of rain in the forecast. Starting Friday, the stands won’t be empty anymore.

“Today was really great waking up knowing that we had something to do,” said Kristen Jarman, another J.H. Rose parent.

Athletic venues can now open with up to 30 percent capacity.

“People are gonna start to be able to come and see their kids and friends,” said Jarman.

For football fans, the news comes at a great time. But it’s not so great for basketball teams with the season ending soon. But basketball parents say the news is still promising.

“It’ll be good for them to have support and return to some type of normalcy,” said Jennifer Skalak, a D.H. Conley High School parent.

Skalak is hopeful that by next season there won’t be any capacity restrictions.

“Myself and all of our family members and certainly the student body can come out and support their peers and teammates,” she said.

Gov. Roy Cooper will review the state’s COVID trends in four weeks and decide whether to loosen restrictions or add more.

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