In mid-May 2018, Brendan Reilly ’21 pulled through the gates of Cabrini University, excitement pulsing through his body. Saying hello to familiar faces, Reilly paid the ten-dollar admittance fee to the Inter-Ac championship lacrosse game and paced into the stadium. A sea of maroon-and-gold Haverford students stood to his right, and further down the stands appeared a smaller but still sizable section of Malvern fans.
It was loud.
With the COVID-19 pandemic lingering, uncertainty about fan attendance at spring sports games worries many athletes. As of March 8, no decision had settled fan-attendance rumors. Students and parents await the decision to see if they can support their Fords this spring.
Many look towards the leaders of the athletic department to make a decision, yet it seems the school is still uncertain about full COVID-19 protocol regarding fan attendance.
“It’s a very unusual circumstance this spring. I do not know whether we will be able to have unlimited attendance, but I’m sure there will be some fans this spring,” Assistant Athletic Director Brendan Dawson said.
Another statement regarding the outdoor attendance restrictions was released by the City of Philadelphia stating, “Outdoor events and gatherings are limited to 20% of maximum occupancy.” The question remains, will the school follow the city’s recommendations and allow 20% attendance to outdoor sporting events or will they choose to take their own path?
“It is my senior year in high school, and I want to be at the games”Brendan Reilly ’21
“It is my senior year in high school, and I want to be at the games,” Reilly said. “Our school has done a great job handling the virus so far, and I think the administration could figure out a way to safely have students attend the games.”
Student voices are not the only calls heard by administrators. Parents, in an attempt to bring normalcy to their sons’ Sixth Form sports season, want their players to have the support from family and friends.
“My son has been playing lacrosse for seven years and has loved every minute of it, but he is not the only one who loves to be at lacrosse games. His grandparents have loved watching games ever since he started playing,” one parent said.
Some parents are calling for higher fan numbers so extended family can be included as well. According to Covid Act Now, Delaware County has decreased from 60.3 cases a day per 100K people on January 11 to 19.3 on March 6. The steady decline in cases per day could increase the chances of fans at games this spring.
“I think fans have a huge impact on the games,” Sixth Form lacrosse captain Colby Kim said. “We feed off their energy.”