Ohio governor responds to idea of 20,000 fans at Buckeye games this fall
Ohio State University issued a statement to season-ticket holders on Tuesday, stating that attendance for Buckeye home football games would not exceed 20 percent. However, even that estimation is a little too optimistic, according to Ohio Governor Mike DeWine.
Tuesday, Dan Hope of Eleven Warriors reported on DeWine’s response to Ohio State’s email to season-ticket holders. While OSU might be optimistic about fitting 21,000 fans inside the 105,000-seat stadium, the state’s governor says it’s still a guess at this point.
“It’s too early, frankly, to determine what is safe,” DeWine said, according to Hope. “It’s too early to determine whether putting over 20,000 people at Ohio Stadium is really a safe thing or not.”
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine on the possibility that Ohio Stadium could host fans at 20% capacity for games this fall: “It’s too early, frankly, to determine what is safe. It’s too early to determine whether putting over 20,000 people at Ohio Stadium is really a safe thing or not.”
— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) July 28, 2020
Schools will likely have minimal say in stadium capacities for the 2020 college football season. In New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy has stated the attendance limit for outdoor gatherings is 500 people, which will include sporting events.
For the Rutgers football team, and the New York Giants and New York Jets in the NFL, it means a virtually empty stadium this fall, unless Murphy changes those guidelines.
Similar policies could be put in place by other state governors depending on the status of the COVID-19 pandemic this fall. It’s not out of reach to think the B1G could also make capacity suggestions for its member institutions this year, as well.
Below is the email Ohio State sent to season-ticket holders on Tuesday, via Eleven Warriors:
“While no final decision has been made regarding the 2020 football season, the Department of Athletics has been working diligently with university leaders, public health experts and government officials to create game day plans that protect the health, safety and well-being of our student-athletes, staff, faculty and fans,” the email reads. “In order to provide the safest environment, certain measures will need to be implemented at Ohio Stadium this year, including physical distancing, mandatory masks/facial coverings, limited concessions, no tailgating and no skull session at St. John Arena. These measures will result in a reduced crowd capacity of no more than 20 percent of overall stadium capacity and will impact all ticket holder constituencies in both overall ticket quantity and seat location.”
Ohio State is allowing any season-ticket holders who do not want to attend games this season to opt out and maintain their season ticket commitment without losing their priority standing.