SAN DIEGO — San Diego Unified School District is now allowing fans, in a limited capacity, to attend outdoor sports after a first week of Friday night lights that saw parents crowded along the fences outside stadiums trying to catch the action.
San Diego High School Head Football Coach Charles James says his team’s season opener next week will be even more fun with fans in the stands.
“Sometimes you need that “12th man” in the crowd helping your kids out. They play better. The quality of play on both sides is better when you hear two crowds go at it,” James said.
San Diego Unified will allow players to invite up to four members of their immediate household to attend games. District Board President Richard Barrera says it’s a plan that strikes the right balance.
“We know its important for parents and others who are close to our student-athletes to be able to watch them participate. We also want to be safe about it. We don’t want to set up situations where we could have community outbreaks that could jeopardize the actual seasons of the athletes,” Barrera told FOX 5.
San Diego High School Track and Field Coach Robert Dean says allowing fans to return is the right move. “We do love having people there – that’s what track and field is – having people in the audience, people cheering and pulling for you,” Dean said.
Initially, after youth sports were allowed to resume in San Diego County late last month, the district said fans, even family members, were not allowed into games. That led to fans crowding together outside fences to watch those games.
“Frankly, we’re worried about that and we’re worried that could still happen. We’re going to have people at the sporting events to monitor and make sure we stick to the rules,” Barrera said.
For families of student-athletes in other school districts around the county, administrators will likewise have final say on spectator seating arrangements.