Announcements over the PA system, digital tickets, social distancing markers, every concession stand open are just some of the ways the University of Florida is adjusting to home football games during a pandemic.
Executive Associate Athletics Director for Internal Affairs Chip Howard described the details to reassure the Alachua County and City of Gainesville commissions that the Oct. 3rd season opener would be safe.
During a special joint meeting on Sept. 30th. the commissions also learned that there are still 3,000 tickets left out of 15,000 for sale ranging from $110 to $635.
“We take hosting these football games very seriously,” Howard said.
“We will make sure our students, athletes, staff and fans feel confident, safe and comfortable.”
Howard said he is guided by the SEC advisory committee and traveled to NFL and other college stadiums to observe practices.
“We feel good about our plan,” Howard said. “We’re excited about welcoming fans and we don’t take it lightly,” he said. “We appreciate the chance.”
According to Howard, messaging about face mask use, social distancing and hand washing Starts on every platform they have.
COVID-19 mitigation policies will be communicated starting at the parking lot with policy and protocol on signs.
“At the stadium, it will be in the exterior PA system.”
There will be stickers at the gate to remind people to stand apart, digital tickets will be scanned for a no-touch transaction.
Once in the stadium, which normally houses 85,000 fans, there will be blocked off space between stadium seating, stickers for restroom marking 6 feet of spacing, custodians will be at bathrooms cleaning touch points.
Every concession stand will be opened, “Even though they will only have 15,000 instead of 85,000 to avoid crowds,” Howard said.
Signs for distancing and face masks will be on display and reinforced with video boards.
Howard said tailgating is not an option before, during or after kickoff and there will be “ambassadors” roaming the campus to warn people against tailgating.
When asked about the status of season ticket holders, Howard said that 30 percent of season ticket holders are using them while others chose to roll them over and some asked for refunds.
After Howard’s presentation of game day protocol, Dr. Charles Lane, University of Florida’s Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, who is responsible for overseeing university-wide functions including Information Technology, Human Resources, and Office of Internal Audit, Business Affairs, and Real Estate said he was, “impressed with the preparations taken for this football game.”
Kickoff is at Noon.
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