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Memorial Coliseum prepares for in-person graduation ceremonies


FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) - For three months, the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum has sat vacant and inactive due to restrictions from the coronavirus pandemic.

But this weekend, Coliseum officials opened their doors to visitors to take part in the first event since COVID-19 upended their plans: the Lucky Duck Consignment Sale.

With that first successful event behind them, Memorial Coliseum officials are preparing for high school graduation ceremonies next month.

"We're back. And safety is key," General Manager Randy Brown said.

While the doors are now open to events, don't expect to find a packed arena with 12,500 screaming fans.

Capacity is down to 20 percent, meaning around 2,000 people will be allowed to enter at a time.

You'll find hand sanitizer all over the facility and staff are using electrostatic sprayers to disinfect seats, handrails, and other areas.

Seats that are available are marked with green tags.

General Manager Brown said normally Carroll High School would bring in a crowd of 8,000, but the coliseum can't do that and adhere to social distancing requirements.

That's why the high school is holding two ceremonies, and students get four tickets for family members.

Here are the upcoming graduation ceremonies:

Carroll High School Commencement

  • Wednesday, July 8 at 7 p.m.
  • Thursday, July 9 at 7 p.m.

Leo  Jr./Sr. High School Commencement

  • Friday, July 10 at 7 p.m.

New Haven High School Commencement

  • Saturday, July 11 at 2 p.m.

Woodlan High School Commencement

  • Sunday, July 12 at 2 p.m.

Heritage High School Commencement

  • Monday, July 13 at 7 p.m.

East Allen University Commencement

  • Tuesday, July 14 at 7 p.m.

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Kayla Crandall

Kayla Crandall is an Emmy award-winning journalist. She serves as the Social Media and Digital Content Manager at WPTA. Follow her on Twitter @KaylerJayne.

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