Tennessee’s ‘High School Football Capital’ prepares for 2020 games amidst COVID-19 pandemic
COOKEVILLE – Amidst the uncertainty of 2020, one thing is for certain, the high school football championships are returning to Cookeville. This year serves as the last contracted bid year for the event between the Cookeville-Putnam County Visitors’ Bureau and Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association. The 2020 games are set for Dec. 3 through 5 at Tennessee Tech’s Tucker Stadium.
“We understand that during this pandemic, we will have inquiries on why the games are still taking place,” says executive director of the visitors’ bureau, Molly Brown. “TSSAA received special authorization from Gov. Lee and the Unified Command Group for this event to be carried out with adoption of numerous COVID-19 safety precautions, and we are honoring our contracted obligation for the event.”
A medical advisory group composed of area health professionals was formed to serve as a resource and offer guidance to ensure the safest environment for participants, fans, volunteers, staff and all involved. The requirements from the Governor’s office, TTU face covering guidelines, along with stipulations advised by the medical advisory group include the following:
- Masks will be required for all attendees throughout the event, unless socially distanced while seated in stadium.
- Masks will be provided for all event volunteers and staff.
- Face shields and gloves will be added for volunteers with higher contact positions, e.g. parking.
- Five mandated temperature check locations upon entry, only attendees recording a temperature below 100.4 will be granted access into the venue.
- Online ticket sales ONLY to manage/monitor capacity and to reduce cash handling.
- Limited stadium capacity to one-third.
- Stadium will be cleared following each individual game.
- Increased sanitation of high traffic venue areas.
- Plexiglass barriers on all concession areas, as well as outdoor concession option located in East Stadium.
- Reduced number of enclosed tents, e.g. Activity, Tennessee Athletic Coaches’ Association, Interview and VIP, will be eliminated for added social distancing measures.
- Media Tent will remain, but will be limited capacity with reservations required through TSSAA Media Contact Matthew Gillispie or by online form request.
- Press announcements, a Mask CAM, videoboard graphics, interior and exterior stadium signage will remind guests to social distance, wear masks and practice healthy hygiene.
“Having numerous healthcare and medical professionals, TTU Athletic event and logistics staff, along with emergency management officials to serve on the Medical Advisory Group has helped tremendously in knowing the regulations and protocols we are implementing will offer the safest environment we can provide in hosting this event,” added Brown.
Championship games are set as follows:
(All game times are CT).
Thursday, Dec. 3
11 AM – Division II-AA
3 PM – Division II-A
7 PM – Division II-AAA
Friday, Dec. 4
11 AM – Division I Class 3A
3 PM – Division I Class 1A
7 PM – Division I Class 5A
Saturday, Dec. 5
11 AM – Division I Class 4A
3 PM – Division I Class 2A
7 PM – Division I Class 6A
Tickets available soon via digital purchase at CookevilleChampions.com. Tickets are $12 and admit for one game only.
For TSSAA information and playoff brackets, go to: tssaasports.com.