STATESVILLE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — High School football games will kick off earlier for the rest of the year in Iredell-Statesville Schools. 

The school district is among several around the Charlotte area with violent incidents among fans attending Friday night football games this season. Junior varsity games will begin at 6 p.m. on Thursdays, and varsity games at 6:30 p.m. Fridays. 

Varsity games typically start at either 7 or 7:30 p.m. ISS leaders say the earlier starts will allow local law enforcement agencies, school officials and the screening agency more visibility during our events. 

On Oct. 6, three people were arrested at Statesville High School’s game against West Iredell following threats made against opposing fans. The game was paused, and finished Monday without fans at South Iredell High. 

In addition, inside-stadium parking will be reserved for game day staff only. Anyone seeking handicapped parking will be directed to a designated area on each campus. 

“These changes are being made, not due to the conduct of our students, but after seeing the dynamics that are surrounding athletics throughout our state,” ISS said. “Even though our schools continue to follow the safety and prevention protocols to maintain a safe area for our fans, putting these measures in place are additional ways to increase the safety of our students, staff, and community.” 

Fights also have occurred in recent weeks in other school districts’ stadiums, at North Mecklenburg High, Harding University High and Monroe High.

Other policies include:

  • All attendees will be scanned with handheld metal detectors at the gate of district athletic events.
  • All personal items, including but not limited to, bookbags, purses, and diaper bags will be searched. 
  • All children not in high school are required to be accompanied by a parent or guardian during the sporting event.