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Fans of Sierra and Sand Creek recently found out the hard way that simply showing up for a game doesn't necessarily translate into admission.
Actually, that's the fire code doing its job.
"Anytime you can fill the gym, it's great for the kids, schools and community," said Sierra athletic director Brian Petzold, referring to the Dec. 16, 2016, boys' basketball game at Sierra that filled the gym to the point of school officials having to turn away prospective attendees. "Everyone thinks we're the bad guys, but we have to stay within what the Colorado Springs Fire Department wants us to do.
Look around just any structure where people gather - meeting room, restaurant or gymnasium, just to name a few - and displayed somewhere is a small notice of the maximum occupancy limit.
At 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sand Creek's gym will be the hottest venue in town when the Scorpions (14-1) meet Falcon School District rival Vista Ridge (11-4) in the first of two encounters in the 4A/5A Pikes Peak Athletic Conference schedule.
And with the star power of seniors D'shawn Schwartz of Sand Creek and Hunter Maldonado of Vista Ridge, the game is sure to pique the interest of far more than just those associated with the two schools.
So if you're thinking of attending, here's a bit of advice. Get there early. The first 1,900 will witness the game firsthand. The rest will have to depend on friends and media to see who wins this battle.
"It shocked a lot of folks at Sierra when they stopped letting people in, and we're going to be doing the same thing," Sand Creek athletic director Jared Felice said. "We don't want to turn away anyone, and we have a good-sized gym, but we have to abide by the fire code and do what the district and security wants us to do. It's first-come, first-served, and we've notified our community that attendance will be limited."
Simply put, the fire code is in place for obvious reasons.
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