The University of Georgia is mulling how football games will look this fall amid the coronavirus pandemic. A committee spearheaded by UGA athletic director Greg McGarity is exploring a range of scenarios for fall athletics, including attendance figures at Sanford Stadium for Bulldogs football games.
Options being explored include no attendance at games, limited attendance or full capacity of nearly 93,000 fans – all of which would see different protocols underway. Should no attendance restrictions be implemented, UGA would have relaxed distancing but admitting limited fans would feature a number of safety protocols.
“Our focus will shift to other best practices for mitigation,” the report said, via Online Athens. “We will eliminate potential congregation elements. We will still move to cashless operations and reducing touchpoints where possible.”
This scenario would likely eliminate tailgating and other gatherings on the grounds of Sanford Stadium. But while teams like the Miami Dolphins have proposed organized stadium entry and exits for fans to avoid crowding, Georgia athletics are advising against the use of assigned entry times, claiming that “it would cause more issues than it would solve.”
Other measures proposed with the limited attendance option include social distancing throughout the stadium. Fans would sit in groups of either two, four, five or six with a six foot distance between fans, as well as distance markers propped along concession areas, entrances and restrooms. Additionally, cashless parking, ticketing and concessions would likely be implemented with concession workers required to wear gloves and masks.
Georgia is just one of many institutions working to create their return plan for student-athletes while the NCAA has suggested a number of preventative steps for a safe return. Per UGA president Jere Morehead, the school is hoping for a full stadium this fall without restrictions but will work with health experts to determine the best option for students, personnel and fans.