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Albert Lea releases updated info on live streaming, spectators

The Albert Lea Activities Department recently released a statement concerning new updates about the in-person spectator policy, as well as the live streaming of events. 

The spectator protocol will follow Minnesota Department of Health and Minnesota State High School League recommendations and guidelines. The number of spectators will be limited to two per participant, and all passes for those games must be pre-sale and the purchasing party must be able to be contact-traced. There will be no walk-up or general admission tickets sold. 

To meet the requirement, Albert Lea sold two season passes per student, with exceptions given to students with special circumstances such as split families. The passes are interchangeable among family and friends as long as the school is able to conduct contact tracing. All other Big Nine schools are in alignment with this protocol. 

Some events, such as middle school events, are not able to sell pre-sale ticketing. In such cases, only parents of students are allowed to attend to guarantee  contact tracing would be possible. 

“We realize these protocols may provide challenges for some families, as many have siblings or extenuating family circumstances, but at this time we are firm on the policy,” said Albert Lea activities director Paul Durbahn in a statement. “We’re happy that we’re providing a safe environment for our student athletes and staff to participate, and we’re also happy that parents are able to watch. When our county numbers improve we will revisit our spectator policy and alignment to MDH and MSHSL guidelines.”

For those not able to attend the events in person, live streaming the games may be an option. 

For most Albert Lea home games, the events will be streamed  at alschools.org/videos. This is a free option and will stream any events taking place in the swimming pool or on the main court. 

For home hockey games, fans have the option to use livebarn.com. This is a paid service that requires a monthly subscription. The school does not receive any money or proceeds from the service. Albert Lea Area Schools hopes to be able to stream the games for free in the future, but are still awaiting some aspects that would allow that to happen. 

For all away events, fans are encouraged to visit the activity calendar at big9.org. From there, links to live streams may be available for other venues. Some may require fees. When possible, Albert Lea will stream away events at alschools.org/videos. 

“We want to thank parents, families and community members for their patience as we work to provide opportunities to view our ALHS activities.,” Durbahn said. “It has not been an easy task. We have been working hard to find solutions to allow spectators to view our activities this fall and now this winter. Livestreams for events are new to us, and we’ve found that with each method of streaming has brought challenges. We now have solutions that will assist our community to watch from anywhere, and the goal is to provide it free when we can.”

About Tyler Julson

Tyler Julson covers sports for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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