Colleges Struggle to Decide Who Gets to Attend Football Games
Colleges are scrambling to figure out how many fans can experience the thrills and pageantry of NCAA football in person this season.
Texas A&M University Athletic Director Ross Bjork said he expects the school to allow about half of its 110,000-seat stadium, Kyle Field, to be filled for games. Florida State University announced that Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee would be limited to 20,000 fans this fall, just 25% of its capacity.
Virginia Tech sent a letter to fans saying it doesn’t expect to welcome capacity crowds to Blacksburg’s Lane Stadium, but wouldn’t specify an exact percentage because “if we pick a number today, it could likely change over the next few weeks.”
Then, in a bombshell announcement on Thursday, Penn State said it would play its games at Beaver Stadium without fans for the time being.
Despite public health officials’ desires to limit public gatherings, college football’s rabid fan bases are still hungry for any chance to experience the action, which is due to start at the end of August.
On Twitter and Reddit, fans are scouring the internet for answers to questions that have flummoxed athletic departments for months: is having any fans at games in the midst of a pandemic in hot spots like Florida and Texas wise? And if so, who will get the few seats that are being made available?
It’s a no-win situation for schools. If they pick students, it may cost them millions of dollars in revenue from season ticket holders that pay full price. Side with big-ticket donors and students could claim that they’re being denied an experience that’s considered a rite of passage at many schools.
Replying to @longhornruth @JCHartzell and @TexasFootballWe prefer to have an option with reduced seating. We are season ticket holders, alumni and have a son there.11:27 PM · Jul 29, 2020
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