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Live streams to limited seating: A fan’s guide to the local prep football season

The area’s public schools kick off their respective seasons this week.
Steinbrenner High's team captains head to midfield for the coin toss of last season's Class 8A state semifinal at Apopka. The 2020 prep football regular season for Hillsborough County public schools begins Friday
Steinbrenner High's team captains head to midfield for the coin toss of last season's Class 8A state semifinal at Apopka. The 2020 prep football regular season for Hillsborough County public schools begins Friday [ SCOTT PURKS | Special to the Times ]
Published Sep. 8, 2020

The local public-school prep football season kicks off in earnest this week, with season openers scheduled in Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties.

Depending on your county of residence, fan policies and protocols vary, with attendance limited in all areas for now. The following are county-by-county public-school guidelines for the entire region including Hernando, which kicks off Sept. 25. (Note: Private schools may have separate policies. Information can be found on those schools’ respective websites.)

Hernando

First games: Sept. 25

Fans allowed? Yes, but attendance will be limited to 25 percent of a stadium’s capacity

TV/streaming? Though some schools continue working out some kinks, select games are expected to be live-streamed via the NFHS (National Federation of State High School Associations) Network, though a subscription fee is required.

Tickets: Sold via an online vendor. Fans are encouraged to visit their school’s website for information.

Hillsborough

First games: Friday

Fans allowed? Each game’s participant will have the opportunity to identify four spectators to attend home games, and must submit those names the Wednesday before the game. The spectators still must purchase a ticket. The four spectators chosen by a participant must sit together.

TV/streaming? All games will be live-streamed via the NFHS Network, though a subscription fee is required. The Identity Tampa Bay will stream select games on its platform for free.

Tickets: Sold online via the school’s website. Tickets are required at the gate in digital form. (Booster club cards and administration passes will be accepted).

Pasco

First games: Friday

Fans allowed? Yes, but capacity will vary with each school, and visiting teams will be guaranteed a limited number of tickets so parents can watch their kids. Fans are encouraged to visit their school’s website for information.

TV/streaming? Select games will be live-streamed via the NFHS Network, though a subscription fee is required.

Tickets: A limited number of tickets will be sold at the gate, and others will be available online. Purchasing e-tickets is encouraged.

Pinellas

First games: Thursday

Fans allowed? Yes, but attendance will be limited to 25 percent of a stadium’s capacity.

TV/streaming: All games will be live-streamed via the NFHS Network, though a subscription fee is required. The Identity Tampa Bay will stream select games on its platform for free.

Tickets: Available online only. Fan are encouraged to visit their school’s website for information.