Butler Co. district opens bleachers for fans, but crowds not welcome

Butler Co. district opens bleachers for fans, but crowds not welcome

KARNS CITY, Pa. — Karns City takes on their rivals from DuBois Friday night, and school leaders said they are expecting a large crowd. The stadium will be open at full capacity, but the superintendent doesn’t want everyone to show up.

“It’s a misconception that we are encouraging people from all over to come here tonight. What we’re actually trying to do is permit our parents of our student athletes to come and enjoy their children play,” said superintendent Eric Ritzert.

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The visitor’s bleachers can hold 500 people and the home-side seats 1,000. Ritzert said fans should look outside the stadium if they want watch the game in person. He said there is plenty of green space where people can bring lawn chairs. He said the concession stand is shut down and there will be security at the stadium to make sure everything goes smoothly.

A federal judge ruled this week that Gov. Tom Wolf’s restrictions on how many people were allowed to gather together in Pennsylvania were unconstitutional. Wolf is appealing the ruling and urges schools to adhere to the 25 people indoors and 250 people outdoors limits.

In Karns City, the solicitor and the school board said all sports in the district were then open to spectators. There was an indoor volleyball game earlier in the week to which 100 people showed up, all wearing masks and keeping a distance.

“We’re not trying to make a statement here. What we are trying to do is to safely provide our parents and community members the ability to come see their children play. That’s what this is about,” Ritzert said.

He said the district is streaming the game online and urged only parents who wanted to see their kids play to show up.

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