By Don Stone, Georgia Tech Express
A lot of universities are not allowing any fans to attend home games this fall. Heck, a lot of them aren’t even allowing the players to attend games themselves with many prominent schools postponing the season altogether until spring.
But, the ACC, which includes Georgia Tech, still has its sights set on a fall football season. And for Tech in particular, that plan includes a bold initiative to allow fans to show up at home games this fall.
But, hold on. There are a few catches. So, pay attention if you intend to have a seat to watch the Yellow Jackets play in this bizarre football season.
Tech has listed its safety guidelines for fans to be able to attend. Following social distancing guidelines of the University System of Georgia, Gov. Brian Kemp’s office, public health officials and the Atlantic Coast Conference, attendance will be limited to 20 percent of the stadium’s 55,000 seat capacity. For non math majors, that’s around 11,000 fans.
Here’s how it will work. Anyone over the age of two will be required to wear an approved personal face covering at all times while inside Bobby Dodd Stadium and its perimeter. When I saw a friend posting a photo of his family in the park on Facebook, I noted that his kid wasn’t wearing face covering. His response…”Ever try making a three year old wear a mask?”
So, that’s one dilemma. That requirement includes security queues at all entrances as well as those at ticket and will call windows. There are specific guidelines on what kinds of masks are allowed as well.
All Tech football tickets and parking passes will be provided electronically via mobile devices. None will be sent by mail nor can fans print them at home. Tickets will be distributed in seating clusters ranging from 2-8 with only one account holder per cluster. No interaction between fans outside of their cluster.
Parking is available first to 2020 season ticket holders based on their previous parking assignments.
Tickets will be prioritized first for 2020 season ticket holders who have opted in for this season and to Stinger Mobile Pass holders. If any single game tics remain, they’ll be sold to the general public.
They’ll have a designated entrance gate listed to allow for the most even distribution of fans.
After going through a walk-through metal detector, each fan can bring in one 1-gallon clear/resealable “Ziploc” style bag. All others are not allowed inside. Also allowed will be a sealed water bottle and travel-sized bottle of hand sanitizer.
Planning to tailgate? Not so fast…
“Through our continuing discussions with Institute leadership and with the health and safety of our entire community continuing to be our top priority, we have decided that it is in the best interests of our entire Georgia Tech family to not allow tailgating for Saturday’s opener against UCF,” director of athletics Todd Stansbury said.
The school’s social distancing guidelines apply to institute-controlled parking areas around the stadium. Once inside, you’ll find additional hand-washing and hand-sanitizing stations throughout.
You won’t find the usual pregame festivities either. No 404 Tailgate, Wreckfest or Yellow Jacket Alley with a new virtual team arrival celebration in its place. And, to the dismay of the countless musicians on campus, no Georgia Tech Marching Band, cheer team and Gold Rush dance team will be performing. Not sure about what Buzz will be doing. But, I have a feeling the best mascot in college football will be around.
It may sound like a hassle. But, you could be forced to follow the Jackets at home. At least you have a chance to see them in person. And it should be worth it with an incredible home schedule of UCF, Louisville, Clemson, Notre Dame, Pitt and Duke.
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There is a lot of optimism after seeing the team pull off a road win upset last week at Florida State.
Enjoy the season.