Notre Dame announces game day policies for upcoming football season

Published: Aug. 31, 2020 at 9:25 AM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Notre Dame Football will continue to be a spectator sport.

Today the university announced its game day game plan.

The crowd will be capped at 20% of stadium capacity to allow for social distancing.

Students will get the first crack at tickets followed by faculty and staff.

People like Chuck Sausman will have to wait until next year. Sausman has been a season ticket holder for 49 years.

“I’ve missed 14 home games since I was six years old,” he told 16 News Now.

This year, Sausman stands to miss all the home games, although truth be told, he says he would not go if he could.

“Under these circumstances no, I don’t feel it’s safe. I just don’t, mask, gloves and I probably wouldn’t enjoy it because quite honestly they couldn’t seat me in my seats.”

Student Madison Gabouer was thrilled to hear she’ll get to attend the games although she admits, “My dad is texting me super upset about the whole situation. I know we don’t get to tailgate so that’s going to be a bummer but I know we’re all just excited to watch football.”

Ari Williams is a medical student on campus who was pleased to find out his diagnosis was accurate.

“I was expecting to have fewer people in the stands, that we would space people out, and that they would try to minimize out of state traffic. So it seems they kind of knocked all of those things off,” Williams said.

According to Williams, “Now the tough thing is that it’s only Notre Dame students and not local South Bend residents and that is unfortunate for many people.”

Opening the stadium came hand in hand with closing the ranks on campus.

“I mean I can understand it that they just want to make sure everybody else is safe,” said Niles resident Russell Gentry. “Yeah, I mean we get it, but little disappointed too,” said Holly Gentry.

The current stadium capacity is about 80,000 which would limit the 2020 game day crowd to about 16,000.

Notre Dame released a full statement, which you can read below:

Adhering to physical distancing requirements necessary to keep our community safe, attendance at this year’s Notre Dame Football games will be limited to 20% or less of Notre Dame Stadium’s normal capacity. Priority will be given to Notre Dame Students, assuring that every student who wants to attend games will be able to do so. Once student demand has been met, the remaining tickets will be made available to Notre Dame Faculty and Staff.

Beyond limiting the number of spectators at the game, the unique approach being taken by the University is designed to promote safety by limiting attendance to those individuals who are current members of the Notre Dame campus community and accords with the expectations articulated by St. Joseph County health officials regarding limiting attendees to residents of the local area. Where exceptions to that policy need to be made (i.e. family members of participating student-athletes from both teams) they will be very limited in number, and those individuals will be seated in separate areas of the Stadium.

All attendees will be required to wear masks and practice physical distancing. Tailgating will not be permitted. Mobile ticketing, rather than traditional printed tickets, will be used.

Additional guidelines with more detailed health & safety protocols for 2020 football games will be communicated at a later time.

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