Illinois AD Josh Whitman outlines current plan for attendance at Memorial Stadium
One of the many uncertainties regarding the upcoming college football season is what attendance will look like inside the stadiums. Some may not permit any spectators inside the gates, while others could allow a small crowd into the game.
Illinois athletic director Josh Whitman spoke on that topic while meeting with Big Ten Network on Wednesday morning, following the conference’s schedule release. Right now, Whitman is anticipating a small crowd being allowed inside Memorial Stadium.
Whitman said that he’s looking at Memorial Stadium having 20 percent capacity for the 2020 college football season, based on current state guidelines for outdoor gatherings. That would mean somewhere between 10,000 and 12,000 fans would be allowed to attend Illinois games this fall.
Obviously, nothing is set in stone and recommendations from the state government could alter those plans. But, for right now, that’s the target for Illinois’ season-opening contest against Ohio State, scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 3.
Attendance has been a major topic of conversation since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country in March. And there have been no final answers from any athletic department, as they’ll all take their advice from government and health experts.
Some stadiums may be fuller than others when the season kicks off.