Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith was a popular individual in Columbus on Wednesday afternoon, meeting with reporters to talk about the prospect of OSU’s football team returning to campus on June 8 and discuss the outlook for the 2020 college football season.
Smith confirmed on Wednesday that the current plan is for players to return to campus for voluntary athletic activities on June 8. While he isn’t 100 percent confident that the season will begin just yet, he said there’s increasing optimism that football will return this fall.
Along those same lines, Smith was asked whether or not Ohio State would play its home games in front of an empty stadium or if fans would be permitted to attend. Obviously, some of that will depend on government regulations later this year, but Smith reportedly projected that between 20,000 and 22,00 could be in attendance at The Horseshoe this fall.
However, shortly after his meeting with reporters ended, Smith clarified his comments with a message on Twitter.
“Just want to clarify,” Smith wrote. “The number of fans we could host in Ohio Stadium this fall under physical distance guidelines could be as low as 22K, but also may be as many as 40-50K if guidelines are relaxed.”
Essentially, Ohio Stadium could fill up anywhere from one-fifth to one-half the venue depending on guidelines. It is worth noting that Smith didn’t say anything about seeing the stadium at full capacity, which may not be an option for the upcoming season.
Smith also made it pretty clear that decisions about seating will likely depend completely on government regulations come September.