SEC COVID-19 measures were announced yesterday, as the conference navigates a 2020 season marked by a severely limited number of fans at the stadium and plenty of mandatory mitigation measures, including masks in most of the stadium.
The measures announced by Southeastern Conference officials were not surprising given what others holding group gatherings this year have imposed, but it will probably come as a shock to many fans expecting a return to normalcy. For starters: capacity will be limited to what local officials will allow. Seating in Bryant-Denny Stadium for the 2020 University of Alabama season will be socially distanced, resulting in approximately 20 percent seating capacity. There will be no tailgating at the Alabama games, either. Fans will be required to screen themselves for COVID-19 symptoms before the game using the GuideSafe Event Passport from Clear, entering vital information like temperature, symptoms and coronavirus exposure before a passport to the game is issued. (Yes, this will be mandatory, and proof of completion will be required at the gates.)
The Clear passport system is not an SEC requirement, and neither is the tailgating prohibition; health screening and pregame tailgating are decisions left to local schools. But there are some requirements across the board as part of the SEC COVID-19 measures, including:
- Mandatory face-mask usage in all public areas of the stadium, including entry queues, concourse spaces and concession lines. Masks may be taken off by fans if they are in a socially distanced space (i.e., their seats) away from non-family members. The masks will also be mandated at stadium clubs and suites. Stadium workers and university staffs must wear masks at all time.
- Tickets are now issued by phone app; no paper tickets.
- Concession stands will focus on grab-and-go service, while buffets in suites will be replaced by standalone service stations.
It looks like most schools will be playing between 20 percent and 30 percent of capacity; the University of Missouri will limit Memorial Stadium capacity to 25 percent of the normal 62,621 capacity.
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