KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Citing safety concerns, school officials are limiting the amount of spectators at basketball games between Battle Creek and Kalamazoo.
Student athletes will be given four tickets for family members to attend, Battle Creek Public Schools and Kalamazoo Public Schools said in a joint statement.
The policy will be implemented starting at this week’s varsity basketball game between Battle Creek Central and Kalamazoo Central. It will be in effect for the rest of the basketball season for games between Battle Creek Central, Kalamazoo Central and Loy Norrix, the school said.
Fans can still watch the basketball games online at nfhsnetwork.com.
“At both Kalamazoo Public Schools and Battle Creek Public Schools, the safety of our students, their families, and our community is always our top priority. The spirited competition between the two districts and our passionate fans always make for fun and memorable games, and we recognize that there is a lot of pride behind each of our schools and how important these games are as a celebration of our talented student-athletes,” the school districts said in a statement. “We also understand that, due to recent events within our community, there have been heightened anxieties around the safety of student-athletes and spectators at large, well-attended events.”
During a football game between Battle Creek Central and Kalamazoo Central in October, gunshots were fired in the parking lot. No one was hurt and the game, which had 53 seconds left on the clock, ended early.
The announcement comes after the Battle Creek Public Schools athletic department banned fans from two basketball games against Kalamazoo schools. Administrators said they had not been consulted about the decision.