NC House Approves Bill to Expand Seating Capacity for Sporting and Graduation Events
Raleigh, NC – Today, the state House approved House Bill 128 to increase the number of spectators allowed to attend North Carolina school sporting events and graduation ceremonies. The bill passed with strong bipartisan support by a vote of 77-42.
The legislation, which would apply to all K-12 schools and public community colleges and universities, will expand seating capacity to 30% for both indoor and outdoor events while providing local flexibility to increase capacity up to 50%. Currently, the Governor has capped outdoor attendance at 30% and indoor at 15%.
“We’ve all heard the complaints from families across the state who’ve been unable to watch their child or loved one play due to the Governor’s stadium restrictions,” said bill sponsor Rep. Kyle Hall (R-Stokes). “It simply does not make sense that restaurants, gyms, pools, museums, and amusement parks, can open at 50% capacity, yet outdoor sporting events are restricted to 30% and indoor venues to 15%. These arbitrary limits are not based in science and unfairly punish our students and their families.
Under House Bill 128, all venues and events would still be required to follow health and safety protocols, including guidance issued under the NC Department of Health and Human Services’ StrongSchoolsNC Public Health Toolkit.
It now goes to the Senate for further consideration.