As the high school basketball season gets underway, there remains only one way for local fans to guarantee themselves admittance to home games at Oneida and Scott High: purchase season tickets.
Both local high schools will limit attendance at their home games to about 400 people — or a little less than half of their gymnasiums’ respective capacities. TSSAA has requested — but not mandated — schools to severely limit attendance to games so that social distancing can be observed inside.
Scott High has season tickets on sale for $75; Oneida has season tickets on sale for $50. The Highlanders have 12 home games this season — including Saturday’s Twin K Hall of Fame Classic. The Indians have 10 home games.
Scott High principal Melissa Rector said Monday afternoon that about 150 single-game tickets remain for the Highlanders’ season opener against Sevier County on Tuesday. The school plans to sell those tickets throughout the day on Tuesday. Then, any that remain will be sold at the gate — first-come, first-served — prior to the start of the game. Tipoff is 6:30 p.m.
Single-game tickets for Saturday’s Hall of Fame Classic will not go on sale until Wednesday. It is unclear exactly how many tickets will be made available for that game. There are several different schools participating, and each school has been mailed an allotment of tickets. Scott High athletics director Eric Henry said Monday that the season tickets plus the visiting teams’ allotments will likely eat up most of the tickets available for Saturday’s games.
“Understanding will need to be in high supply come Saturday,” Henry said. “The only way we can get kids on the court and keep them there is if we all have some grace and acceptance of all the limitations.”
The Highlanders are planning several safety protocols for Saturday. The gym will be emptied midway through the day for cleaning. Locker rooms will be sprayed and sanitized as needed. Restrooms will also be cleaned periodically throughout the day.
Anyone wanting to purchase season tickets for Scott High games can do so through Saturday. Season tickets will no longer be available after Saturday’s games. Remaining tickets will be sold on an individual game basis throughout the season.
At Oneida, season tickets will be sold Wednesday and Thursday. Purchases are limited to two tickets per person.
Oneida is not planning to offer ticket sales at the gate after its game against Coalfield on Friday, December 4.
Both Scott High and Oneida will offer a limited allotment of tickets to visiting teams. At both schools, visitor sections will be behind the visiting team’s bench. That has traditionally been the case at Scott High; Oneida’s visitor section is typically located at center court on the opposite side of the gym.
Scott High is not anticipating its fans to have too much difficulty obtaining admission to road games in league play; Highlander faithful tend to out-number fans at Knoxville-area schools like Fulton and Austin-East, and administrators at those schools have apparently indicated to Scott High administrators that they anticipate being able to handle ticket demand.
The opposite will be true when district teams visit Scott High, however; fewer than 100 tickets will be available for visiting fans for each game played in Huntsville.