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A Look At Beaver Stadium’s Potential Reduced-Capacity Plans

Although Penn State Athletics won’t bring fans to sporting events this fall under current guidelines, it gave fans a glimpse into what Beaver Stadium may look like at reduced capacity.

Athletics personnel shared the plans during a Zoom conference call Thursday afternoon. The proposal would only be implemented if Pennsylvania loosened its coronavirus mitigation guidelines, which currently cap outdoor gatherings at 250 people and indoor gatherings at 25.

The proposed plan, introduced by Senior Associate Athletic Director of Capital, Events, and Facilities Carl Heck, would allow up to 23,275 made up of students and season ticket holders. Fans would need to wear face masks and follow social distancing guidelines in their own “pod.” Pods would be made up of two, four, six, or eight fans and would be seated at least 6 feet apart from another pod. Chairbacks and cushions would be modified to show the location of each pod.

Additionally, zoned entry throughout the stadium would be required in order to improve contact tracing. Tickets to enter the stadium would be 100% mobile. Different from the past, all student seats would be assigned in accordance to the pods.

Parking would also be done in zones with the utilization of 33.3 percent of available spots. In previous years it has been common for fans to just tailgate and not attend the game. That’s not an option this year.

“Parking would be restricted to ticket holders,” Heck said. “We would open our lots four hours prior to the scheduled kick. We’d have forced parking to assist with social distancing guidelines.”

Additionally, all food and beverages served at concession stands would be prepackaged and allowed to be consumed in fans’ seats. Athletics would also implement touchless credit card machines and remove temporary seating areas throughout Beaver Stadium.

In the proposed plan, environmental hygiene is emphasized to try to make sure Beaver Stadium stays clean and healthy.

“We have purchased over 1,000 hand sanitizer stations,” Heck said. “There is going to be a thorough pre-cleaning of high-contact touch points throughout the stadium, continuous cleaning throughout the game. Permanent and temporary stands have been installed.”

All staff members would need to complete a health questionnaire and get their temperatures checked before working a game. If either doesn’t happen, that staff member wouldn’t work during that game.

Additionally, Heck touched on the results of three surveys Athletics put out to gauge fans’ attitudes regarding potentially attending Penn State football games and said responses were used to form these plans. The surveys found both staff members and fans emphasized wearing face masks and practicing good hygiene were top priorities.

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About the Author

Gabe Angieri

Gabe is a sophomore majoring in journalism and is an associate editor for Onward State. He grew up in Lindenhurst, NY and has had the absolute misfortune of rooting for the Jets, Mets, and Knicks. If you want to see his rants on all of his teams follow him on Twitter @gabeangieri and direct all hate mail and death threats to [email protected]

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