There’s a strong possibility that seating on the home side at Pearland Stadium for football games could be limited to just those who have kids participating in the game-day event, according to Ben Pardo, athletic director for Pearland Independent School District.
“We are definitely at a limited capacity,” Pardo said. “It’s going to be very different. We’re trying to figure out what that’s going to look like.
“The stadium holds 12,000 people. With the 50 percent capacity rule from the University Interscholastic League, plus the social distancing guidelines we’re adhering to, it really puts us closer to a 25 to 30 percent capacity.”
Pardo says limited seating vanishes quickly when crunching the numbers.
“Tickets will be prioritized by parents who have kids participating in band, football, cheer, drill teams, etc. We’re still working the kinks out of what that’s going to look like,” he said. “We might reach capacity just with those people. At that point, there might not be any tickets available.
“If there are tickets remaining, they would potentially open up on Tuesday or Wednesday to the general public, but we don’t know if we’ll get to that point.”
However, Pardo did say all home games involving Dawson and Pearland high schools varsity football teams would be streamed live by Texan Live.
The Pearland and Dawson bands will be situated on the visitor’s side this season to accommodate more fans on the home side.
Pardo also anticipates possibly having room for 400 to 500 seats available for visitors. Per District 23-6A rules, no visiting bands will be allowed at games this season.
What about the Pearland-Dawson game?
A big concern also exists for the final game of the regular season — Dawson vs. Pearland.
“It is a good thing (the Pearland-Dawson matchup) is the last game of the year,” Pardo said. “We’ll hope that things have lightened up and we can move in a different direction for that game.
“We have not even started those discussions. We’ll see how that rolls out.”
As for home volleyball matches at Pearland and Dawson, it appears a total of 600 fans could attend.
“It’s a little bit different for volleyball because we play freshmen, junior varsity and varsity matches back to back,” Pardo said. “If 20 freshman parents show up, when they leave it opens up more space.
“Not everybody is going to stay all the way through to watch three matches, so we have a little more flexibility.”
Tennis and cross country are other fall sports beginning soon.
Tennis players are not required to wear masks because of the natural social distancing associated with the sport.
Pardo said cross country practice is in a controlled environment, but on race day “you lose some of that.”
“We’re using discretion with the safety of the kids being the priority,” he said.
In a related note, the press box at Pearland Stadium underwent renovations to accommodate more seating this fall.
“We’ve enlarged the press box, but it will hold less people now,” Pardo said. “We have to figure out a plan there for coaches, media, the announcer, video tech people, etc.
“There may be coaches in two or three different rooms, but there will be essential personnel only in the press box.”
Pardo said the potential remains for all Dawson and Pearland football games to be streamed live.
“I think our games at Shadow Creek will be streamed live, and we’ll just have to see about the rest of them,” Pardo said. “Texan Live has a pretty wide presence.”