OUR VIEW: TCSS makes right call on stadium

Published 10:36 am Saturday, August 22, 2020

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The Troup County School System has announced it is reducing capacity at Callaway Stadium to 30 percent of normal capacity this upcoming football season.

While we all yearn for the days where Callaway is packed to the gills for intra-county rivalry games, this was the right decision.

Sports are an important aspect of a school. They provide a foundation for fitness and health living at a young age. They instill values such as hard work, competition, leadership and teamwork. And of course, they bring communities together. There’s not many things in Georgia that unite people quite like high school football.

So if you’re disappointed, we get it. But right now, we’re lucky to have a season at all.

COVID-19 shows little sign of abating, and playing contact sports like football in any capacity carries some risks.

With reduced capacity, social distancing will be much more feasible. The 30 percent capacity means 1,500 total fans in the stadium — 750 on the home side and 750 on the visitors side. Callaway Stadium can seat about 5,000 people.

Fans will be required to wear a mask when entering the stadium and are asked to keep them on the entire time they are in the stadium. Temperature checks will be performed as people enter the stadium.

If you are among those who are able to attend the big games, we encourage you to wear a mask and be mindful of other guidelines, such as regular sanitizer use, social distancing and avoiding touching shared surfaces.

If we want the season to proceed, and for every game to be played, it will be on all of us ­— players, coaches, fans — to stay safe. Mitigating the spread of the virus is as much a team effort as football itself.

If we aren’t able to keep cases under control, the powers that be may have to limit or cancel games, if not the whole season.