COLUMBUS, Ohio – If Ohio State football plays at Ohio Stadium in 2020, it will be at 20% of its capacity.
The athletic department made that announcement to season ticket holders on Tuesday, along with other restrictions for fans attending the games this fall.
The guidelines were deemed necessary due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has already triggered the cancellation of fall sports contests outside of the Big Ten conference and has threatened to play games throughout this fall.
“While no final decision has been made regarding the 2020 soccer season, the Athletics Department has been working diligently with university leaders, public health experts and government officials to create game day plans that protect health , the safety and well-being of our students – athletes, staff, teachers and fans, ”the letter said.
According to the letter, facial coverings will be mandatory for all fans who attend, and physical distancing will be implemented. No tailgating will be allowed for the 2020 season, and the traditional “Skull Session” pre-game festivities will not take place at St. John’s Arena. Concessions within the Ohio Stadium will be limited.
Ohio Stadium has a capacity of approximately 105,000, so a 20% limit would mean about 21,000 fans per game. An Ohio state athletic spokesman said student tickets “absolutely” will continue to be part of reduced capacity.
The letter stated that season ticket holders who previously purchased 1 to 10 tickets may retain a maximum of two tickets, those purchasing 11-20 may retain a maximum of four, and those purchasing more than 20 may retain a maximum of eight.
Season ticket holders who choose not to attend games in 2020 will not lose their priority for future tickets. They have until Monday to opt for the season.
Those who choose not to participate can receive a refund, receive credit for future ticket purchases, or donate their payment to support scholarships between students and athletes. Those who choose to transfer their payment or make a charitable contribution will receive bonus points for their 2021 seat selection.
Ohio State also said it reserves the right to refund orders if necessary.
Ohio State Director of Athletics Gene Smith said in May that his department was game scenarios where the capacity could be in the 20-22,000 range. He later clarified that capacity could reach 40-50,000 if distancing guidelines and other local restrictions were loosened.
However, Franklin County, of which Columbus is the county seat, currently requires facial covers by Governor Mike DeWine. The city has seen a 220 percent increase in COVID-19 cases since it reopened on June 1.
The White House Coronavirus Task Force designated Columbus as a potential coronavirus “hot spot”.
The state of Ohio reported $ 50.5 million in football ticket revenue for 2018-19, the most recent season for which data was available, and an average of $ 53.04 million in the past five seasons. It is the largest contribution of a sport to the Ohio State General Athletics budget.
The Buckeyes were already giving up two football games at home due to the Big Ten decision to play only conference games in 2020. Ohio State currently has five home games scheduled for the Big Ten, but it is not yet known if the conference will alter the schedule in terms of opponents or number of games.
The coronavirus pandemic has already ended Ohio state spring practices after a week. The Buckeyes’ voluntary workouts were also interrupted by an increase in positive tests among athletes.
New Ohio state facial masks for sale: This is where you can buy Ohio State themed face covers for coronavirus protection. A 3-pack is available from Fanatics for $ 29.99.
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