It was announced today that for Ohio State football games, the capacity at The Shoe will only be 20% maximum. Here’s what that means for the possibility of a full Fall season.
COVID-19 has wrecked what normal sports are. Everything has had to change to allow for social distancing and keeping everyone as safe as possible. Ohio State football is not immune from these changes, and the capacity for Ohio Stadium isn’t either.
Last month, we saw that AD Gene Smith was hoping for at least 50% capacity by being able to space everyone out. As we know, things change very quickly in the world of the pandemic. Now The Shoe will be limited to at most 20% capacity for this upcoming Fall.
This is a good news/bad news type of thing. The bad news is there will be fewer fans than originally thought at games this season. This creates all kinds of issues in terms of who gets these tickets, how much they will cost, and where fans will actually be seated.
This isn’t an issue that can be fixed so swiftly. Students, who are actually paying tuition to attend the school, should definitely get an allotment of these tickets. They are the ones who also make the most noise anyway so that would benefit the football team.
Faculty should get tickets as well because, again, they are actually at the university. That leaves alumni, donors, and other types of fans that get the rest of the tickets. It will be very interesting to see how Ohio State divides up the allotment of tickets.
The good news with this announcement is that fans will still be allowed at Ohio Stadium at all. A lot of other programs and teams across the country aren’t allowing fans at all. This at least gives people a chance to go and still support the Ohio State football team at a lot of games.
This announcement also shows that a Fall season seems to be what is happening. It would be terrible if things were moved to the Spring, but an attendance announcement like this points to games being played in the Fall. That’s good news for the Buckeyes’ national title hopes.
In addition to Ohio Stadium being limited at 20% capacity, face coverings are mandatory. That was always going to be the case no matter how many fans were allowed in. There will also be no tailgating. Most fans can easily get around that rule though. Hopefully they decide not to and stay safe instead.
Even though The Shoe won’t be full, 20% is still better than nothing. Fans should take this as good news about the season ahead.