University of Florida football fans will get chance to watch home opener in person
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The University of Florida will allow football fans to watch the Gators play the University of South Carolina in their Oct. 3 home opener in person. Some of them, anyway.
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The university will allow about 17,000 people to gather at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium — roughly 20% of its total capacity of 88,548 — to comply with coronavirus social distancing guidelines, according to a blog post on the team's website.
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"As we have throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we worked hand in hand with UF Health, the SEC and its Medical Guidance Task Force, and campus officials to create the safest environment possible for the student-athletes, staff and fans," Athletics Director Scott Stricklin said in a statement.
In addition to decreased stadium capacity, tailgating will not be permitted on campus; the "Gator Walk" will not occur in 2020; and there will be no "Gators Fan Fest" nor Spirit teams on the sidelines, the blog post states.
Ticket and parking information will be available next week.
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The Big 10 on Aug. 11 voted to postpone all 2020 sports due to the uncertain course of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Pac 12 followed soon after; nearly 50 schools have canceled this year's football season.
A number of colleges across the country have canceled or postponed classes and sports — some of which were originally scheduled to take place in person following coronavirus outbreaks or illicit student gatherings on campus — to avoid spreading the virus.
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