The Georgia Southern Athletics Department announced Monday changes to game day attendance numbers at Allen E. Paulson Stadium for the 2020 football season.
To align with guidance put in place by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, and following NCAA, Sun Belt Conference, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Georgia Department of Public Health and University System of Georgia social distancing standards due to concerns around the COVID-19 pandemic, Georgia Southern University President Dr. Kyle Marrero has approved a plan to begin the season at up to 25 percent stadium capacity.
Georgia Southern and the Department of Athletics remain committed to the safety and well-being of all students, faculty and staff as the University welcomes everyone back for the fall.
For football, the Eagles are still scheduled to play all six home games, starting with Campbell on Sept. 12. Paulson Stadium will begin the season with up to 25 percent capacity in the facility as the four grass hills and other previously unused spaces beyond the seating bowl will be open for seating this season. While at a reduced capacity number, all season ticket account holders will have the ability to attend all six home games this season.
What this entails for Georgia Southern fans is the following:
- The Athletics Ticket Office will soon be contacting fans and season ticket holders with more information on how season tickets will operate this season.
- Season ticket holders will have the opportunity to indicate their interest in attending games this season as well as having the ability to opt-out of attending games for the 2020 season. If a season ticket holder opts out they will be able to utilize our “Triple Option” as a way to thank our season ticket holders for reinvesting in our program during these trying times. This Triple Option allows you to reinvest with us to 1) double your own priority points; 2) keep your points and gift to a friend (along with a True Blue membership to the Erk Russell Fund) or; 3) keep your points and gift to a family member to help them be more involved with Eagle Athletics.
- Any mini-plans and Freedom Passes purchased will be refunded or credited back to the purchasers.
- Single-game tickets will not be sold this season to keep a mandated capacity limit for each game.
- Similar to the above guidelines, a plan is in place to allow student entry into games. More information on the process for attending games as a student will be forthcoming.
In addition to the limited seating capacity, we will implement several additional safety protocols this season, including:
- Face coverings must be worn by all fans, staff and media members when inside Paulson Stadium. Acceptable face coverings must 1) be made with at least two layers of breathable material, 2) fully cover the nose and mouth and secure under the chin, 3) fit snugly against the side of the face and 4) be secured to allow the face covering to remain in place independently. Based on guidance from health officials, open-chin triangle bandanas and/or face coverings containing valves, mesh material, and/or holes of any kind are not acceptable face coverings. Additionally, costume masks are also not considered appropriate face coverings and are prohibited from being worn inside Allen E. Paulson Stadium.
- A 100 percent mobile ticketing process is now in place (PDF), which provides a safer and more secure way for fans to control their tickets. This also reduces the number of touchpoints at entry gates.
- Mobile ordering options in our concession areas are now in place to decrease contacts throughout the concourse. Additionally, all concession purchases will be cashless beginning this season.
- Hand sanitizing stations, as well as signage, will be located throughout the stadium to encourage social distancing.
- Due to recommendations on social distancing, the Eagle Walk will not take place this season. The Yellow School Buses will still drive the team along its usual campus route, but the drop-off point will now be at the gate entrance of Bishop Field House.
- As it currently stands, tailgating will still be allowed in university parking lots. Please limit groups to no more than 10 individuals at a tent at one time, and fans are strongly encouraged to wear facial coverings when leaving their tailgating areas and when social distancing is not possible.
Further information on safety game day guidelines will be made available as the season gets closer. The environment of guidelines changes every day and we will follow what is mandated by the State of Georgia and the University of Georgia System guidelines.