Bemidji basketball fans cheer during a boys basketball playoff game in 2019. Under new state guidance, limited and socially distant fans will be permitted indoors for upcoming sporting events.

New State Guidance Opens Door For Limited Fans At Indoor Sporting Events

The Minnesota Department of Education has provided new guidance that will permit a small number of spectators to attend indoor sporting events during the coronavirus pandemic, according to Minnesota State High School League reporter John Millea on Thursday.

The guidance will permit the attendance of two spectators per participant from teams competing at indoor sporting events. Those spectators have been asked to separate by at least six feet between either households or other spectator groups. Event spaces will not be allowed to exceed 25% of the total capacity.

Millea added that schools will have to require advance reservations or ticketing for those who will be attending under the given parameters.

UPDATED GUIDANCE FROM THE MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION…Spectators at Activities, Athletics, Clubs, Youth Sports…

Posted by MSHSL on Thursday, October 8, 2020

The decision comes on the same day that volleyball–the second competitive indoor sport to begin play in Minnesota since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic–is set to begin its season in high schools across the state of Minnesota. Girls swimming and diving, the first indoor sport to begin play, will now have this change in effect for the Section meets that are scheduled for next week.

Attendance at sporting events during the pandemic is the subject of a lawsuit toward the Minnesota State High School League that was announced by four families of Minnesota high school athletes earlier this week. The lawsuit has alleged greater restriction in attendance limits by the MSHSL than the Minnesota Department of Health’s guidance, highlighting the previous ban on all volleyball attendees and the limit of 250 spectators at football games.