Phillipsburg High School’s football team is set to play its first home game of the season on Saturday night.

But, compared to previous home openers, it will be a more understated affair when the Stateliners host Hillsborough at 6 p.m.

No tickets will be available to the general public due to Gov. Tom Murphy’s executive order limiting outdoor gatherings to 500 people, according to a joint statement Tuesday from the school district and Phillipsburg Police Department.

That limit applies to the area around Maloney Stadium, too, meaning spectators won’t be allowed to watch the game from outside the fence and the sidewalks around the stadium will be closed.

Stadium admittance (beyond the players, cheerleaders and band) will be limited to game operations personnel; coaches; a limited number of senior students; and families of the players, cheerleaders and band members.

“We understand this is difficult news for the many passionate fans that have been attending Stateliner Football Games for decades,” the statement says. “This is not an easy decision or one taken lightly by the Phillipsburg School District. However, given the restrictions in place under the Executive Order and to not jeopardize putting the entire season at risk, this is the most responsible decision and one that is in the best interest of the school district and community.”

The game will be live streamed on the Stateliner Sports YouTube channel.

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Kyle Craig may be reached at [email protected].