Shikellamy School District moves forward with plans to allow more than 250 spectators at sporting events

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SUNBURY, NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Following the Sunbury City Council’s voted approval, Shikellamy moved forward with a plan that allowed up to 500 people to attend Friday’s football game against Jersey Shore, eclipsing the limit set by Governor Wolf in a now-challenged state order.

Superintendent Dr. Jason Bendle says allowing family members for both home and away players in case of emergencies was a main driver in the decision.

“We felt very strongly that we wanted to have a parent from every student that’s participating here, in case a medical decision, in case someone got hurt and a medical decision needed to be made. “

To ensure the safety and legality of the move, Shikellamy Stadium has been split into two separate venues — a home side and an away side — divided by fencing, with individual gates. Neither side will have more than 250 people.

“People will need to be in face coverings, and practice social distancing. We have signs up that each section can hold 35 people, properly socially distanced. And we also brought in extra portable bathrooms in for both sides,” Bendle said.

Two lifelong Sunbury residents said they think it’s a decision that can be carried out successfully.

“If you can’t spread out 500 people in a stadium of 7000, there’s something wrong with it. This school district is very, very serious about protecting the students, and the people,” said Bob Fleming.

“I think it’s good that they changed it to the 500. Because I think that parents, grandparents should be able to watch the kids play. And I think it means something to the kids, too,” Peggy Fleming said.

Despite that limit of 500, players, band members, cheerleaders and school officials account for over 200 people alone. Bendle told Eyewitness News that the estimated number of ticketed fans who can enter the stadium tonight will be 278.

The district told Eyewitness News that each Shikellamy student, band member and cheerleader has been allotted two tickets for family tonight. Each Jersey Shore player will be allowed one guest.

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