The start of high school football is less than a week away and school districts are starting to make changes.
Friday afternoon, Decatur City Schools' Athletic Director Watt Parker outlined the changes we'll see with fall sports this year.
While all sports have some slight changes, varsity football -- the highest attendance sport -- will be impacted most significantly.
“This is a big change,” Parker said. “We will be accepting no money at the gate this year for varsity football."
The district is taking a number of precautions to keep fans and athletes safe this year -- starting with ticketing.
Unlike years past, tickets for varsity football, and only varsity football, must be purchased in advance and only students can purchase tickets at school -- everyone else will have to buy them online.
Ticket prices are $8 for adults and $5 for students, parking included.
Additionally, stadium capacity will be limited based on community COVID numbers, but the district has not set specific limits.
Also new this year, fans will be required to stay on the side of the stadium they enter, with no crossover allowed. Face coverings will also be required in the stands.
On the field, the home band will now perform its halftime show pregame and the visiting band will not perform on the field at all. Only cheerleaders will perform at the half.
For all other sports, ticketing will be as it always has and aside from masks and distancing, capacity is the only real change.
"All of our indoor sports for the fall are going to continue as normal, we will be going 50% limitation on seating capacity as mandated by the AHSAA for all our indoor events,” Parker explained.
With both middle school and high school football set to kick off on Thursday, Parked told me they're ready to get things moving.
"We're planning on full go, because if you don't plan on full go, it'll never happen,” he said. “We can stop it in a day, but you can't get it rolling in a day, so that's exactly where we are. We're planning on everything to go well and working our best to make it happen."
Parker also added that all food sold at concession stands this year will be pre-packaged and foods like popcorn, pretzels and nachos will not be available.
The district said it will make as many events as it possibly can available to view on the NFHS Network.