Richland prepares for start of football season with lots of uncertainty surrounding spectators that could change next week with new bill

WTAJ Plus

JOHNSTOWN, CAMBRIA COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ Plus) — For now, seats at Richland High School’s stadium sit empty but that could change for next Friday’s game.

On Wednesday, the governor’s office released more information about spectators at fall sporting events, saying 25 people would be allowed at indoor events with 250 people at outdoor events.

“It’s really great news for so many of our sports that don’t have as many spectators at them. Our cross county team and some of our junior high and junior varsity events and some of the other sports such as soccer…it’s really great that parents and family and friends are going to be able to come to games,” said Brandon Bailey, Head Football Coach at Richland High School.

He says it doesn’t change much for football games.

“You know us here at Richland we have approximately 48 football players on our roster and then when we come to a game or travel to a road game we’ll have approximately 80 people at our traveling party. When you start including coaches, trainers and camera people and all those types of things..if each team has 80 and you throw in some cheerleaders and members of the marching band, you’re going to be at 250 really fast.”

“It just makes no sense these arbitrary numbers that this administration put 25 and 250 when you can go to some of these big box stores where there will be 700-800 people in there walking around touching elbow to elbow or what have you,” said Wayne Langerholc, Senator of the 35th District.

Langerholc disagrees with the numbers and says they have a bill that could put control back into the hands of schools.

House Bill 2787 would permit schools to decide if fans were allowed at games and Langerholc says the house voted on the bill this week and it passed unanimously.

“Now that it’s out of the education committee it will go before the full Senate for a vote and if it passes the full Senate then it goes to the governor’s desk for either his signature, his veto or if he does nothing within ten days, then by operation of law it becomes a law.”

He says a vote should be made next week while the Senate is in session.

In the meantime, Richland has partnered with the Silver Drive-In to show their games on the big screen.

“The Richland Football Boosters are putting on the live stream of the game each Friday night for Richland Rams football. Our parents of our football players, our band members and our cheerleaders can purchase the tickets the weekend before. There will be a code for them to get those tickets and then they’ll go on sale to the general public Monday of each week prior to the Friday night football game,” said Bailey.

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