FORREST COUNTY, Miss. (WDAM) - Public schools have only been playing football for the last week but the changes can already be seen.
Fans are wearing masks in the stands and there are fewer of them. With a 25% capacity limit, ticket sales are down.
“Many of our sports are impacted by these gates, so obviously with the 25% rule, that’s going to be a challenge for us,” said Petal School District Superintendent Dr. Matt Dillon.
Dillon said the district doesn’t plan on cutting any extracurricular activities because of the change.
“We know the importance of academics obviously is what drives us but also there’s so much value in extracurricular, whether it be the arts or athletics,” said Dillon.
Dillon did say the loss in revenue will impact the district’s budget, and athletics will have to be tighter with their spending.
“We’re going to make sure our athletes and our students have what they need and our coaches and directors have what they need,” said Dillon.
Dillon is still excited for this week’s home opener despite the restrictions.
In the Forrest County School District, low turnout completely canceled football season.
“The district always supplements any time there’s a need to with all our athletic programs if it doesn’t produce funds," said Superintendent Brian Freeman. "Yea, football is a big moneymaker. It does fund other programs as well.”
Freeman said the 25% capacity rule would limit the program’s chance to bring in money.
“When you take into account officials and security and things like that, it could’ve been a break even or even a money loss part of the program,” said Freeman.
Freeman is hopeful more students will sign up to play.