College football grappling with possible seating options for fans

This is what I was talking about when I made this post in early May…IF fans are allowed in this fall (IF games are played!), it will be a logistical nightmare.

Here is a current story from USA Today on the subject.

“The basic guidelines on social distancing — maintaining at least six feet of distance, particularly in a situation where attendees are convening from different locales — is forcing ticketing offices to create open space in stadiums that are built to accommodate shoulder-to-shoulder crowds. For example, a row of 25 seats may now only seat four groups of two as a way to provide separation, a task made even more complicated by the need to eliminate aisle seating to create safe walking space.”

“To help model various options for seating and ticketing, N.C. State has leaned on its partnership with SAS Institute, an analytics firm headquartered in Cary, North Carolina. N.C. State can offer up scenarios: attendance at 50% capacity, at 25% capacity, with social distancing in place. Using the layout of Carter-Finley Stadium, SAS can come up with a seating configuration to match each hypothetical, helping N.C. State develop plans for ticketing.”

"Under this plan, the highest-ranking ticket holder in this points system will retain his or her seats for 2020. Then, Priaulx and the Broncos’ ticket office will build space in all directions around those seats — for a group of four, that would mean eliminating the eight seats in front, the eight seats behind and the four seats on either side, along with ensuring that no other fans are seated diagonally within a safe distance.

For every two seats that are put together, I’m killing 20 seats around that person, for that group,” said Priaulx. “The capacity won’t be determined until we’ve gone through the whole process and seated everybody.”

That’s a tough configuration, but probably the best plan. If only 2 out of 22 seats are available, that’s less than 10% capacity. Of course, a family group of 4-6 or more might all be allowed in a suite, but there aren’t but what, 40-50 suites, in RRS?

Sounds like under this system about the most RRS could hold would be about 7,500-8,000. That beats nothing. With TV revenue it could at least reduce the revenue loss for the season.

However, I’m still expecting a very limited number of games IF we have any games at all. This thing shows no signs of letting up & the American public shows no signs of being willing to do the things necessary to contain it. An almost total shutdown (allow food distribution & health services to remain available) but everything else stopped for about 3-4 weeks & we could probably get back to pretty close to normal at the end of that time, but that won’t happen.

Depends on the configuration of the specific venue, NEA. If you read the complete article (link provided in prior post), some sections of the stadium being discussed have something less than 10% of their seats used, while others are at 25-30%. At least, that’s what the article says.

Saw something last night that Texass is talking about putting 50K into their 100K stadium and the public health officials in Austin are like “whoa there cowboy.” There ain’t no way you can social distance with 50% capacity and 33% is gonna be difficult. I don’t think HY can take care of our 32,000 season ticket holders either.

I get four. A friend gets six.

Maybe HY will put limits on how many tickets each account holder gets. Who knows?

Of course, students and family of players, coaches will get there’s .

How about band, cheerleaders, etc?

Less media passes?

I’m thinking we might get by with as many as 20,000 fans, but 15k (20%) is probably more workable. Doubt we’d need to go as low as 10k, but I haven’t even tried to look at the possible configurations that keep at least 6 feet between groups of 2-4.

Seems to me the real problem comes on the field for the players. Without both teams & sets of coaches being quarantined 10-14 days before games & passing tests, it just seems to me at least one player on one of the teams will be able to pass it to another player or more on the other team. We have no positive test results for our players right now. That bodes well for the first game, but they’ll have to stay away from regular students once school starts. Not an easy task.

I’ve had 2 on the fifty yard line for Fay and LR for 45 yrs and don’t want to give em up. Problem is I’m in the High Risk Threshold and don’t feel safe in going to games this yr. I would be happy if the athletic dept gave me the option not to purchase my tickets this yr as long as I can get them back next yr. Doing my part to help with the social distancing issue.

I don’t see anyway that they will penalize you. We’ll be given options in the next few weeks, and then told what are choices from those will be. They aren’t going to lose a season ticket holder over this, my guess is that one of the options will be to skip this year, and reboot next year on your tickets.

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I have always thought they will get about 20,000 in, that will allow everyone to have plenty of room, they will make them come in and masks. The 20,000 I’m pretty sure we’ll go to season ticket holders for sure, the high donors well they get on top priority I would guess

I don’t think they’ll penalize you, either. Everyone knows the problems people face & right now the program needs to do all it can to keep everyone happy. The first goal right now is just to survive until next year with as little loss as possible.

Ohio State has announced they’ll cap seating at 20% of capacity, just about 20,000 in the Horseshoe. That sounds about right.

RRS is different than most college stadiums because we have so many suites. That enforces social distancing of a sort, as long as you don’t have more than 10 sitting in a suite.

If you have 32K season ticket holders and you can only get 15K of them in (this assumes the same 20% plan tOSU is using) you can’t very well punish the unlucky 17K. Or I guess another option would be to let some of them see some games and others see the others. I know the Packers have two sets of season tickets, a remnant of the days from when they played two games in Milwaukee. Maybe charge you full price with the difference going to your RF point value?

Assume there will be no available seating for students & bands, only seating available for season ticket holders & top donors? Doubt that students watching televised games in crowded dorms, bars, or frats/sororities is any safer or better at enforcing social distancing than watching outdoors in large stadiums.

Bingo. Not that they should have a 300 member band sitting together at the game, but you’ve hit on why we’re going to have outbreaks at colleges all across the country, especially in hot spot areas. Kids don’t do social distancing very well & college dorms & frat houses are not designed to facilitate it.

I saw some indication yesterday that the SEC is looking at how to let some students attend the games. I suppose you could make that work and get a few hundred in the designated student sections. Don’t know how you manage the band, I suppose I should ask Mrs. Buzzard (ex-Baylor Band) if/how that would work.

You should be able to spread the band out a bit, or make it a little smaller, or both. 300 people playing in an 80%-empty stadium would probably be overwhelming.

I am hoping for this option also

I think the way the SEC starting late gives them a better chance of seeing how all this is going to work out, and figuring out if they can come up with a workable solution. They get to watch the NFL and the pro leagues learn by trial and error, and see how the student populations are making out.

Additionally, although you probably would never get an SEC administrator to admit it, I think the late start may actually factor in infection surges within a few weeks of students returning. Resident student populations are almost surely going to have infection spikes, where you discover after extensive testing that lots of people in the large, close-living group got infected within days. It seems likely the worst spikes will happen the first few weeks after students return. If these surges behave like surges at institutions elsewhere-prisons/food processing plants, etc., you get jaw-dropping numbers of infected in a short time after you start large-scale testing, but as long as the infected quarantine the number of active infections at the institution drops like a rock starting about two weeks after the spike is identified.

If that pattern bears out at SEC schools, then there will probably be large numbers of infected students by early September, but the numbers will be starting to decline by late September, when football is supposed to start. Now will college admins freak out at high infection numbers and send everyone home before September 26th? Maybe, we’ll just have to wait and see.

Will college infection spikes at like spikes within other institutions? I sure don’t know, but it would fit the pattern we’ve seen so far with how the virus runs through people who are getting up close and personal on a daily basis. And of course you are still going to get additional outbreaks from time to time, as has happened in the prisons/poultry plants,etc., when someone brings the virus into the community. Those outbreaks have tended to be much less severe the second time around, but it may not work out that way with some colleges.

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Many people who are season ticket holders, like me, aren’t going to go to the games. If given a choice, I will not go, but want to have my same tickets back for the 2021 season. This is what I would like, but it probably won’t happen.

Same thought occurred to me. I did read last night that the SEC’s medical panel had advised the later start and that’s probably why.

I can tell you for sure that “making out” is one of the primary reasons there’ll be a spike. These are college kids. :grin: