Reno 1868 FC to host fans for first time since play resumed
RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - “Just to be able to have the drums beating, and the chanting (is great).”
Reno 1868 FC General Manager Doug Raftery has been waiting months to have supporters back in the seats at Greater Nevada Field.
The timing could not have been better.
For the first time since February 29 the club will have fans in attendance cheering for their boys in blue, this time, in the playoffs.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Raftery said of the approval process to let fans back inside.
This week, the club was approved to welcome in 250 supporters. Raftery says his staff submitted a 20-plus page reopening plan to both Governor Steve Sisolak’s office and the Washoe County Health Department.
“It’s been a long week getting review from both of those (entities)," said Raftery. "The decisions were made. We spoke with a lot of people with regard to the plan but we feel good about what we’re able to do and that we’ll be able to do it right.”
The club hoped to get permission to host close to 700 supporters. Reno 1868 learned that request was not granted on Thursday.
When fans do arrive they will have to watch the match in a much different way.
There will be new seating arrangements, temperature check protocols, and limited concessions.
“There will be no groups larger than six in any of the seats," said Raftery. "Any other groups that aren’t part of one group will be at least six feet apart.”
Fans have watched outside the gates of Greater Nevada Field for every home match since play restarted in July. Due to Saturday’s small attendance allowance, some folks will be left out. But there could be more opportunities to see the United Soccer League’s top ranked club.
“We could be hosting up to three more matches after (Saturday’s opener) so it’s available for those folks to have another opportunity to receive a ticket," according to Raftery.
All of Reno 1868′s ticket allotment went to season ticket holders. The club held a lottery system to choose who got a seat.
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