Washington state youth, high school sports welcome more spectators back into stands

Starting Thursday, more spectators will be able to attend youth sports, including high school games.

Although counties are set to expand into Phase 3 starting March 22, Gov. Jay Inslee last week announced youth sports would be allowed to accommodate more fans in the stands before Phase 3 begins.

Since the governor’s announcement, a local mom said she’s been reaching out to school administrators at Northshore School District. She was trying to get confirmation that she and other parents would be able to attend Thursday's soccer game at Pop Keeney Stadium on Thursday.  Due to restrictions, only a limited number of parents have been allowed into the stands until now.

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High schools were only allowed to bring 200 people for a game, including the coaches and players. But now the expansion means many more fans will get access depending on the size of the venue.

The general rule says that outdoor venues should cap spectators at 25 percent.

Tammy Monson is a soccer mom who was willing to watch her daughter play her games through a gate.

"You can’t really see at the far end but at least you can see this end," Monson said.

Monson said with all the restrictions, parents were forced to find creative ways to watch their children play.

"I looked over and saw 10 parents standing in the bushes watching their kids play the game," Monson said.

She said she felt especially bad for senior parents who couldn't watch in person.

"They could easily allow 38 parents, 36 parents to come and sit at a stadium socially distanced by 40 feet.

The Inglemoor High mom said it seemed like a reasonable expectation of the district since Pop Keeney can seat thousands.

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"When you see a stadium of 4,400 seats and you see 25 parents in the seat," Monson said.

Q13 News reached out to the Northshore School District Thursday morning about Monson's concerns and the governor's new orders. The district followed up on Thursday afternoon saying they would allow more parents into the Bothell stadium.

It was a last-minute notice for parents but Monson said she is happy the district made the adjustment. Monson was able to watch her daughter play from the stands when the game between Inglemoor High and Woodinville started at 5 p.m.

The Northshore School District said now every student playing football and soccer at the stadium will get 4 tickets to invite spectators to the stand. Previously it was two tickets for students only playing on the side deemed the home team for a game.

Although this is progress, Monson said she will be closely watching how things play out. Monson said she is already seeing inequities when it comes to sporting events at different school districts. She said some districts are allowing up to 12 games while others are playing half that number.    

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