GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Governor Tate Reeves is now restricting crowd sizes at K-12 extra-curricular events in Mississippi. And while the football season isn’t set to kick off until September 4, the state’s most beloved sport will still be affected. Many jamboree games were set to take place in August, but Governor Reeves latest executive order will greatly limit attendance.
“All K-12 school in Mississippi will be required to ensure that no more than two spectators per participant are attending,” Governor Reeves announced Friday.
It was an announcement that took many of the athletic directors on the coast by surprise.
“None of us saw this coming and I don’t really know exactly what to think at this point,” said Gulfport Athletic Director Bryan Caldwell.
When asked what it would take to raise the crowd limits for extra curricular events. Governor Reeves stressed that he would need to see far fewer cases over the next few months.
“We need to take that number, which was up near 10,000 over a 7-day period. We need to drive it down to the 2,500-3,000 level. Which would basically be another cut in half from where we are today,” said Reeves.
The announcement isn't a good sign for the schools and teams that rely on football to make a profit.
“If we are going to follow this policy for very long to the football season. Remember we are also playing high school volleyball. We can’t make ends meet. I have a jamboree scheduled on the 28th, and following this formula we’re going to lose money. By the time I pay the officials and the people who work the event, we are probably going to lose money,” said Caldwell.
The governor’s latest executive order runs through the end of August. He promises to reconsider crowd limitations later this month.