Ole Miss details football attendance plans under state virus restrictions
Last week Governor Tate Reeves announced an attendance limit of no more than 25 percent capacity for all Mississippi college stadiums and on Monday, Ole Miss announced their full attendance plan for 2020.
Vaught-Hemingway Stadium will allow up to 25 percent of its maximum capacity to begin the upcoming season. After being bowled in a few seasons ago, the stadium seats up to 64,038 fans but will hold a maximum of 16,009 with the 25-percent cap.
“We appreciated the diligence of our state and conference leadership in addressing these difficult decision, and under their guidelines, our staff have developed a thoughtful plan to begin the season,” said Ole Miss athletic director Keith Carter. “We ask the Ole Miss family for their cooperation and understanding as we adapt to the changes necessary in order to hold athletics events. While we’re all disappointed that we cannot enjoy The Grove this year, we look forward to providing a safe environment for as many fans as permitted at Vaught-Hemingway. Most important, we are grateful that our student-athletes will have the opportunity to play the game they love.”
Ole Miss’ home-game slate was slimmed down to five games after the Southeastern Conference amended their 2020 football season to a 10-game, conference-only schedule. Those five games are the Rebels’ season-opener on Sept. 26 against Florida, Alabama (Oct. 10), Auburn (Oct. 24), South Carolina (Nov. 14) and the Egg Bowl against Mississippi State on Nov. 28.
Home tickets will be available for fans on a single-game basis and sold in monthly selection waves. In each of those waves, fans will be able to choose from the next month’s home games and pick their preferred stadium section. Ole Miss will determine the reserved seats for each ticket-holder by socially distancing accounts within each section.
The month-to-month selection process allows for the potential of capacity adjustments later in the season if determined by Reeves. Season ticket holders will receive an email with information on Sept. 2.
Fans will also select their section in the club area and Ole Miss athletics department will determine the reserved seats for each account. In the Field Club, fans will not be allowed to congregate in the outdoor common turf area so as to avoid social gatherings.
“These circumstances required unconventional thinking, and we worked hard to develop a fair process that honors existing priorities,” Carter said. “We want to welcome as many fans as possible, and our hope is that more opportunities emerge over the course of the season. In order for that to happen, we all need to do our part and follow safety guidelines both at games and in our daily lives.”
The student section will be in the north endzone this season in sections N1 through N10 and the seating format will be announced soon, according to the school’s release. Student tickets will be on a single-game basis and sales will begin the Monday before each home game. Students will receive an email by Sept. 14 with further information, including ticket order dates and times, based on the fall semester classifications.
Fans will be required to wear face coverings at all times when possible and especially when entering and exiting the stadium and while walking around the concourse.
Concession stands will be at limited capacity and have a reduced menu this season but will offer in-seat delivery in both the seating bowl and premium areas. All concession locations will be cashless with the exception of one stand in the south concourse. Beer will continue to be served this year, coming off its debut in the 2019 season. Each fan will be permitted to bring one unopened bottle of water as water fountains will not be available.
With tailgating and other social gatherings on campuses banned by Reeves this season, fans are being encouraged to limit their time spent on campus before and after games. The Grove and Lyceum Circle areas will be used as pedestrian walkways only.
The Walk of Champions tradition of the football players arriving and walking through The Grove to the stadium will not take place this season.
For more information, visit olemissgameday.com.