Recently there’s been a change at high school football games. Fans are back...in a big way.
Even before restrictions were placed on crowds in 2020, at least to the eyeball test, it seemed like crowds had diminished.
Sure a state semifinal would fill up a stadium, but a random Week 5 game certainly wasn’t going to fill up a stadium. Fans would show up, but not in a crazy way.
That isn’t the case this year.
There are a few reasons I think crowds are up this year. The first is the most obvious, after not being able to attend games at many schools, students and regular football fans are itching to be back at the field. Last year many schools limited tickets to just two per player.
What that means is a group of sophomores this year never have had a chance to watch a game in person as high schoolers. They’re getting to the games no matter what. Same for grandmas and grandpas who haven’t gone to watch their grandkids play in person other than on a webstream.
The second reason is in Kansas City, the weather has been phenomenal every Friday.
That leads to the third and final reason that the casual fan is still itching for a sense of community and a chance to be around others.
Last week at Liberty North, the parking lots were full 45 minutes before kickoff.
The crowds haven’t been limited to just there. Visiting crowds have seemed bigger across the city and the scene has been repeated from Class 1 to Class 6 schools.
I’m not going to pretend like this is a silver lining from the pandemic, too many people have died and have lost loved ones to trivialize this.
We can all agree that our perspective on many things has changed and after missing football a year ago, many have decided they don't want to miss it again.