Clemson Athletics recently released their newly approved plan for fan attendance at sporting events this fall, including football games at Memorial Stadium.
The plan was released last Thursday, as the kickoff to the 2020 season nears. The main part of the plan is to reduce fan capacity from the normal 81,500 capacity to approximately 19,000 fans. This will allow for social distancing to be enforced in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The seating arrangements have been designed as seating pods, grouping people in sets of two and four throughout Memorial Stadium. This is designed to keep families and friends together and reduce the chance of crowding groups of people. The aim of this model is to allow in as many IPTAY donors and students as possible during the 2020 season.
Due to CDC guidelines, face coverings will be required at all times inside and around the stadium unless consuming food and beverages. Each fan will have a certain gate of entry and there will be no stadium re-entry passes given out this season.
Ticketing allocation will also be revised. The athletic department announced all ticketing will be mobile for the 2020 season. Fans who receive tickets will be assigned different times for when they can enter the stadium. There will be a limit placed on the amount of tickets available to each IPTAY and student account.
Other notable changes include the elimination of pregame traditions like the Tiger Band Parade and Tiger Walk and the classic post game tradition of Gathering at the Paw. The athletic department is encouraging fans that are listed as “at-risk” by CDC health guidelines to stay home and refrain from attending games.
The athletic department also announced the request of fans to not tailgate during home games. Tents, trailers and large gatherings have been prohibited for the season, but the department did not announce measures that will be taken to enforce this decision. Fans can most likely expect police presence in the parking lots to discourage potential violators of this decision. Parking lots will open three hours prior to kickoff and close one hour following the completion of a game.
Athletic Director Dan Radakovich announced on Friday morning that Clemson students will be allocated tickets for the South Upper Deck. An estimated 2,200 to 2,300 tickets will be allocated for the students. The process of getting these tickets has not been announced yet.
Radakovich also announced that the Tiger Band will be on the Hill this year and that visiting ACC opponents will be awarded 200 tickets for distribution amongst the players’ family and friends.
Clemson also announced that 250 fans are allowed in Jervey Gym for volleyball games inside and 1,000 fans are allowed for soccer games at Historic Riggs Field.
There have been varied opinions from the community regarding this plan. A petition has recently been circulating to reverse the decision to allow fans at football games, citing the recent outbreaks at North Carolina and NC State as reasons to prohibit fans from entering the stadium. As of Saturday morning, the petition had one signature. Many people have praised the university for implementing a safe plan instead of rejecting fan attendance altogether.
The first scheduled home game is set for September 19 versus The Citadel. Kickoff is TBA.