PIAA puts football ticket sales on hold after governor tightens gathering limits

Monday, November 23, 2020 | 5:37 PM

Ticket sales are on hold for the PIAA football championships after Gov. Tom Wolf announced new limits on gathering sizes.

PIAA executive director Bob Lombardi said tickets were unavailable until Tuesday while the PIAA determines how many spectators are allowed this weekend at Hersheypark Stadium.

According to the governor’s outdoor restrictions:

• Capacity is capped at 15% for venues with a maximum occupancy up to 2,000;

• Capacity is capped at 10% for venues with an occupancy up to 10,000;

• For venues that hold more than 10,000, capacity is capped at 5% up to 2,500.

The PIAA counts Hersheypark Stadium’s capacity around 15,600, putting the venue in the largest category. At 5% of capacity, total attendance would be limited to around 780.

“Five percent, that’s ridiculous. We’ll have less fans than we had at our last home game,” said Bill Cherpak, Thomas Jefferson athletic director and football coach. “You could put 1,500 people on both sides of that stadium and never even get near each other.”

Cherpak said he received two emails Monday from the PIAA. The first included a link to buy tickets online. The second said the PIAA needed to reconsider, so that link wouldn’t be active.

The PIAA had intended to allot 800-1,000 tickets to each school. None has yet been sold, Lombardi said.

The six PIAA football championships are Friday and Saturday. Four WPIAL teams will take part.

Jeannette plays Steelton-Highspire in the Class A championship at 11 a.m. Friday. The Class 3A and 5A finals also are Friday. At 3:30 p.m., Central Valley play Wyomissing in 3A. At 8 p.m., Pine-Richland plays Cathedral Prep.

On Saturday, Thomas Jefferson plays Jersey Shore in the Class 4A final at 3:30 p.m.

The other Saturday games match Southern Columbia vs. Wilmington in 2A at 11 a.m., and St. Joseph’s Prep vs. Central York in 6A at 8 p.m.

In early October, Wolf had limited outdoor gatherings to 15% of capacity at facilities that held more than 10,000 with a maximum of 7,500 individuals.

Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Chris by email at charlan@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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