Lake Stevens fans cheer on their football team during a game at the Lincoln Bowl in Tacoma on September 13, 2019. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Lake Stevens fans cheer on their football team during a game at the Lincoln Bowl in Tacoma on September 13, 2019. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

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Wesco to allow home fans to attend prep sporting events

Districts and schools will determine how many spectators are allowed, within the state’s new guidelines.

Wesco athletic directors have approved a plan to allow spectators from home teams to attend high school sporting events beginning Thursday, the league announced Monday.

This comes after Gov. Jay Inslee announced new capacity limitations for sporting events last week as he unveiled Phase 3 of the state’s “Healthy Washington” reopening plan.

Individual districts and schools will determine their own logistics and number of spectators allowed. Each school district anticipates to receive guidance from its local risk management groups and the Department of Health, according to Wesco’s release.

No spectators from visiting teams will be allowed to attend. Schools will continue to live-stream events for fans who aren’t in attendance.

“Wesco ADs declined allowing fans in Phase 2 in order to put the focus on creating a safe and functional environment for our student-athletes and coaches,” the league said in its release. “Now that schools have some experience in hosting events, we are excited to be able to welcome our home spectators in a limited capacity.”

According to the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association, here’s a summary of how the state’s new spectator guidelines apply to high school sports:

  • Spectator restrictions for outdoor events vary based on whether permanent seating is available and the amount of designated seats. There must be at least 6 feet of separation between groups in all seating arrangements, which may limit the capacity number further than the guidelines listed.
  • For outdoor activities, the Phase 3 guidelines indicate that participants, officials, coaches and staff do not count toward the capacity restrictions, as they did in Phases 1 and 2. For indoor activities, participants, coaches, officials and staff do still count toward the capacity restrictions.
  • For facilities with permanent seating for up to 1,600 spectators, schools may operate at 50% capacity or a maximum of 400 people, whichever is fewer.
  • For facilities with permanent seating for more than 1,600 spectators, schools may operate at 25% capacity.
  • Indoor activities in Phase 3 may have up to 400 individuals at an event or up to 50% capacity, whichever is fewer.
  • For activities where permanent seating is not available, spectators are limited to one seated group — consisting of one to six people — per 100 square feet. Each group will be in a reserved space, only available to the group or pod that purchased that specific location.

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