ALBUQUERQUE — The New Mexico Activities Association wasted little energy shooting down any notion that it would bow to parental pressure and move Saturday’s Class 5A volleyball state championship match to Santa Fe.
As dawn broke Friday morning, a handful of parents from Santa Fe High and Centennial requested to school officials that the match be moved out of The Pit and to Toby Roybal Memorial Gymnasium because fans are not permitted to attend indoor sporting events in Bernalillo County.
The county’s status as “yellow” in the New Mexico Department of Health’s red-to-green framework for handling public gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic means spectators are only allowed at 25 percent of a venue’s capacity for outdoor sporting events. Only counties in the green and turquoise status are allowed to have fans indoors.
Santa Fe County was elevated to turquoise March 24, allowing indoor venues to accommodate up to 33 percent of capacity with all social distancing and preventative health measures still in place. With a capacity of 15,411, The Pit — given the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation of 6 feet of space between small groups — could hold about 4,000 fans in ideal conditions.
The NMAA offered a one-line response Friday morning for an inquiry seeking information about the possibility of moving Saturday’s match to Santa Fe: “All volleyball finals are scheduled to be played at The Pit.”
Saturday’s match will be streamed online by the National Federation of State High School Associations for a monthly fee of $10.99.