Northwest Florida says fans will be allowed when hoops seasons begin

Published: Dec. 17, 2020 at 10:35 PM CST
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG) -Northwest Florida says when the basketball season begins next month, their teams will not have to play in an empty and relatively silent Arena.

Athletic Director Ramsey Ross announcing Thursday the school will allow up to 50 percent capacity for men’s and women’s hoops games at Raider Arena, starting in January. That means about 11-hundred seats with fans seated in every other row to allow for some distancing.

That number Ramsey says, will allow Raider Club members, Northwest students and staff, as well as a limited amount of general admission fans to be a part of the home games.

“If 2020 has taught us anything, obviously we all know we have to adapt. And I know some other Conference schools are going to be doing some different things, but this decision fit this institution based on the way we are operating currently. And certainly we’ll respect everybody else’s decision and move forward. But we’re really looking forward to hosting fans this upcoming season.”

Here are the other salient points made in the email release from Ross and the college Thursday.

• A limited number of single-game tickets will be available for each home basketball game. However, Raider Club members will be guaranteed entry to each game. To become a Raider Club member, visit

• Clustering near non-family/group patrons is discouraged. Fans are asked to group only with those in your party.

• Face coverings will be required upon entry.

• All gameday workers, vendors, and staff will wear face coverings at all times in Raider Arena.

• Concessions protocols will be modified according to public health recommendations.

• Proper queuing and social distancing will be required in common areas, such as concession stands and restrooms.

• There will be strict restrictions on who has access to the court.

• Traditional Raider Room service will not be possible this season due to COVID protocols and social distancing measures. Raider Club members will be provided grab-and-go prepacked refreshments at specific locations in Raider Arena during normal Raider Room service times.

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