RECTOR, Ark. (KAIT) - With postseason basketball around the corner, the Arkansas Activities Association announced an update to COVID-19 guidelines Monday.
One of the biggest changes to the guidelines AAA announced was an increase in seating capacity to 50 percent.
However, masks are still required, and facilities must also have a separate entrance and exit points to help with social distancing.
Rector Athletic Director Nathan Henderson said the increase in seating capacity was a morale boost for the school.
“The Governor’s announcement Friday was really reassuring and encouraging,” Henderson said. “Just to be able to make some changes that get us closer to normal is definitely a boost to morale... It gives us a little more crowd capacity which is great, more fans can come in.”
Henderson added that prior to the Governor’s announcement and the AAA update Monday, the school was preparing to have a capacity of 400 people. He said to adjust with the changes, more seats will be added to help ensure social distancing.
“We’re still going to adhere to safety protocols as much as possible,” Henderson said. “Masks are still going to be required, we’re still going to ask people to social distance between family units when possible... Still trying to be as safe as we can but offer an environment that is great for our visiting fans.”
Rector’s gym can seat around 1,300 people, so with the updated guidelines, 650 people will be allowed in the facility.
Henderson said the additional 250 people will help to offset the cost of hosting the tournament, but the most important thing to him is the fan support.
“Fan support [is] number one,” Henderson said. “Not only for our visiting fans but for the Rector folks that are coming to watch...”
Each school will have a select number of tickets to sell to fans before sales open to the public. For those who can’t make it, Rector will live stream each of the 2A North Regional matchups.