Spectators now can attend games in Quay County


March 3, 2021

It appears spectators will be allowed at Quay County high-school sporting events, after all.

In a reversal, the New Mexico Activities Association and Public Education Department announced Thursday night that spectators will be allowed at prep sporting events in many counties, effective immediately, based on COVID-19 risk assessments.

Quay County, which is in the green zone on risk assessment, will be allowed up to 50% of the capacity of an outdoor spectator area and 25% of an indoor sports venue.

Tucumcari and Logan both are scheduled to hold their home openers in football Friday night and will be allowed to have spectators. Tucumcari volleyball also will hold its first home match Saturday afternoon.

Many New Mexico schools, in anticipation of no spectators being allowed, for weeks had made preparations to livestream games on various internet portals.

However, the state’s COVID-19 case numbers have dropped precipitously since vaccines began national roll-outs in mid-December.

If Quay County improves into the turquoise zone during the next risk assessment next week, the spectator capacity will rise to 75% for outdoor venues and 33% for indoors.

Counties in the yellow zone are allowed at 25% capacity for outdoor venues only.

Red-zone counties are not allowed any spectators at games. Only four counties in New Mexico were in the red in the most recent assessment.

“It makes sense to align student athletics with what’s now permissible in the current Public Health Order,” Education Secretary Ryan Stewart said in a news release. “We understand the importance of sports in the lives of our students, families and communities. We encourage participation in sports by students as a healthy outlet and by parents as supportive spectators. At our core, we want to keep athletes and families safe.”

“We are so excited about the opportunity to have spectators at some school sporting events,” NMAA Executive Director Sally Marquez said. “We have been working hard with the Governor’s Office, the Public Education Department and the Department of Health to find a way to safely allow fans at the games. We all have something to cheer about.”


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