Atlanta Public Schools lifts fan ban for spring sports

Parents watch their daughters compete in the girls soccer game from the sidewalk outside the fence on Chester Avenue at Maynard Jackson High School on Feb. 18. Atlanta Public Schools lifted its ban on spectators on March 1. Curtis Compton / AJC FILE PHOTO

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

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Parents watch their daughters compete in the girls soccer game from the sidewalk outside the fence on Chester Avenue at Maynard Jackson High School on Feb. 18. Atlanta Public Schools lifted its ban on spectators on March 1. Curtis Compton / AJC FILE PHOTO

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Fans of Atlanta’s high school sports teams can once again attend games.

Atlanta Public Schools this week relaxed its rules barring spectators from athletic events, restrictions the district put in place in response to the pandemic.

The spring season includes outdoor sports such as baseball, soccer and lacrosse. Some parents clamored for APS to allow attendees at games, saying other metro Atlanta districts permitted fans to watch in-person.

APS officially notified parents of the relaxed rules in a Wednesday email, though the change went into effect Monday.

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The district will limit attendance at Grady and Lakewood stadiums to 30% of the venue’s capacity. Both stadiums can seat thousands under normal conditions, and officials do not expect attendance at spring games to come near the new threshold.

For contests held at smaller high school sites, the capacity will be limited to 200 to 250 people, not including the coaches and athletes.

Spectators must wear masks and practice social distancing. Before entering, fans will get their temperature checked and answer health screening questions. Concession stands will only sell prepackaged food.

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