Fans in Spartan Stadium To Watch Michigan State Play – But Not Many
There WILL be fans allowed in Spartan Stadium to watch the Michigan State Spartans play football this fall. But due to limitations forced by the COVID-19 pandemic and fears of a spike in infections, it just won't be a lot of fans.
According to the Detroit Free Press, MSU athletic director Bill Beekman is hoping to see 20% to 30% capacity in Spartan Stadium, which seats about 75,000. Michigan State University President Samuel Stanley is a little less optimistic, estimating about 20% capacity, and he says the actual number might even be lower than that.
On Thursday, Beekman said seating priority will be given to undergraduate and graduate students, then season ticket holders and then major donors. Normally the student section seats about 12,000. If MSU allows that number of students in and you're only allowing 15,000 fans in - that means seats for only about 3,000 "civilians".
One of the many obstacles to making the games safer, in light of the pandemic, is how fans will enter and exit the stadium while still practicing social distancing. They're working on it. According to President Stanley:
That seems to me to be one of the most difficult things to manage. We have these tunnels people go through, you have corridors, so how do you stagger arrivals so you can make it safer for people and reduce that kind of contact?
Michigan State is watching to see how the NFL is planning on working around the problem. But the players are coming back to campus on June 14th and workouts are scheduled to start on June 22nd. The first home game is against Northwestern, on Sept. 5th. Tick-tock.