Friday night lights begin for Copperas Cove, fans in the stands to see changes
By LYNETTE SOWELL
With the COVID-19 pandemic casting much uncertainty over the past several months for many longtime fall pastimes in Copperas Cove, tonight one pastime returns: Friday night football, along with dance, cheer, and marching band.
After a delay of four weeks instituted by the University Scholastic League for 6A districts to include Copperas Cove, the lights will come on this evening in Bulldawg Stadium for the first varsity game of the season.
The UIL has issued mandates for spectators at stadiums for events throughout the state, and will be seen tonight.
For example, one of the biggest changes to the season for Bulldawg fans has been the elimination of season tickets this year, along with reserve seating.
Another change has been the elimination of no passes allowed, to include district, senior citizen, THSCA, employee, etc.
UIL has set the capacity for stadiums at 50 percent.
Parents of students performing and competing at the game were given the chance to purchase their tickets first, said Wendy Sledd, the district’s Director of Communications.
As of Wednesday afternoon, there were 341 tickets left on the home side and 821 on the visitors’ side.
Ticket sales open at 4 p.m. the Monday prior to each game, with in-person ticket sales at Bulldawg Stadium open Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 4-8 p.m., with ticket sales closing on Thursday at 8 p.m.
Tickets are also available online at https://www.ticketracker.com/store/events/1471. There is a $1 additional fee for each ticket purchased online. After purchasing online, spectators can download the tickets and either print them to be scanned at the gate, or tickets can be scanned on phones.
Advance sale tickets are $7 for adults and $3 for students, with gameday tickets $10 at the gate, if still available.
Subvarsity game tickets will be sold at the gate only, $3 for adults and $2 for students.
Face coverings will be required for all spectators age 10 and up, as per the UIL, with social distancing of six feet, and every other row seating.
According to the UIL, the face covering mandate is in effect upon entry to an area where UIL activities are being conducted and when not actively practicing or playing in the contest. Exceptions include any person with a medical condition or disability that prevents wearing a face covering; while a person is consuming food or drink; or when a congregating group of persons maintains at least six feet of social distancing from others.
Along with face coverings, all students, participants, spectators and volunteers will be screened prior to entering the stadium facility. If anyone believes they have been in close contact with someone who has test-confirmed, COVID-19, they must remain off-campus and away from UIL activities.
The UIL also states schools should post signs stating any individuals who are confirmed to have, suspected of having, are experiencing symptoms of, or have been in close contact with an individual who has been confirmed to have COVID-19 should not enter the facility.
Also, groups should maintain at least six feet of distance from other groups at all times, including the process of admission and seating. The UIL defines a group as “no more than 10 people including the members of the household and those persons who traveled together to the facility.”
Additionally, UIL says that there should be hand sanitizing stations and/or hand washing stations at entrances and inside the facility, and seating, hand rails, and other common surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected prior to each game or contest.
This year, concessions will be open during the games, but following safety protocols, also instituted by the UIL, will be in effect.
These include providing condiments or flatware only upon request, and in single-use, individually wrapped items. The UIL also recommends limiting contact between the concession stand workers and customers as much as possible.
The Copperas Cove Quarterback Club will provide concessions as usual, but with modifications as per the UIL. They will also be selling apparel with as little contact as possible. On the other side, the Pride of Cove Boosters will also be providing concessions for fans.
Editor's Note: Friday morning update. All home side tickets are sold out! Visitor side still has available seating.