Limited students allowed to attend Florida football games with The Swamp at 20% capacity

By Adam Silverstein
September 15, 2020
Limited students allowed to attend Florida football games with The Swamp at 20% capacity
Football

Image Credit: ESPN Images

Whether Ben Hill Griffin Stadium can again be one of the loudest college football venues in the nation with reduced capacity will be tested during the 2020 season as the Florida Gators announced on Sept. 3 that fans will indeed be allowed to attend home games. Though some stadiums across the country are prohibiting fans from watching games live, The Swamp will at least make a go of it.

Florida will permit Ben Hill Griffin Stadium to be filled at 20% capacity, meaning 17,000 fans will be allowed to attend games this fall with physical distancing requirements taken into account.

Of those 17,000 fans attending each game, 2,000 will be students, which will make up about 12% of each game’s crowd. This slightly less than the approximate 18% of the crowd that students normally take up on game days. Students who win the lottery to attend a game will then be removed from subsequent pulls, allowing opportunities for as many different students as possible to see the Gators play in person this season.

Lottery entries will be weighted based on class and prior student season ticket purchases. Tickets will be provided in pairs, meaning 1,000 students will win the lottery.

Fans that attend games will be required to wear face coverings at all times — including when entering and exiting the stadium — with the lone exception being when they are eating and drinking. Ticket privileges may be revoked if fans do not comply.

The Gators open on the road at Ole Miss on Sept. 26 but will host South Carolina in a home opener on Oct. 3. When they do, the football team will take the field without any spirit squads on the sidelines.

To ensure that attending Florida football games is as safe as possible this season, the Gators will not allow fans to tailgate. Inside the stadium, strict 6-foot physical distancing between groups will be mandated. There will also be “noticeable changes” to everything from ticketing (mobile) to concession stands. The Gator Walk will not be held before games.

“As we have throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we worked hand in hand with UF Health, the SEC and its Medical Guidance Task Force, and campus officials to create the safest environment possible for the student-athletes, staff and fans,” athletic director Scott Stricklin said in a statement on Sept. 3.

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