USA working on game day protocols

Mobile County

Concessions limited, bands may not march

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — The University of South Alabama will play at 25-percent of fan capacity at its new Hancock-Whitney Stadium this fall, but athletic administrators still have a lot of other decisions to make about the game-day experience.

Among the COVID-19 sacrifices, single game tickets probably won’t exist.

“We could potentially only accommodate our season ticket holders and our students for the most part,” USA Athletic Director Joel Erdmann told WKRG News 5.

Season ticket holders are being asked if they would move seats to different parts of the stadium to accommodate social distancing, or if they want to opt out. The more that opt out will allow more USA students to attend.

Everything will have a protocol at the new stadium, including just getting in.

“We will have many initiatives including designating gates of entry to divert and minimize as much crowding as possible,” said Erdmann.

Masks will be required in the stands. Concessions will be limited and if it’s not pre-packaged it likely won’t be available. Fresh hot dogs and gooey handmade nachos are likely concession items of the past.

“Any handling of food needs to be in a specific environment and in a specific way and the pre-packaging of food will likely be a big component of that,” said Erdmann.

USA officials want to limit lines of any kind, at entrances, concessions stands or bathrooms. They also want to keep as many people as possible off the field.

Erdmann says that means bands are unlikely to march, and maybe won’t even be in the stadium due to distancing requirements and limited space.

“In national discussions pertaining to bands and spirit squads, I think I’m comfortable in saying they won’t be on the field of play.”

Despite all the changes, Erdmann is hopeful the games will be played and fans will enjoy the experience.

“It’s a fairly simplistic concept to distance, wear face masks, and be conscientious of people around you.”

The Jaguars’ home opener is Saturday Sept. 12 vs. Tulane.

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