‘I am happy that we are back’: FSU gamedays return, but with a different look for 2020

Published: Sep. 11, 2020 at 3:31 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - The start of fall means the return of football. Saturday, the Florida State Seminoles will kickoff their campaign, but gamedays this year will look a lot different.

Many new measures are being put into place, not just inside the stadium, but for fans who are hoping to get in the garnet and gold spirit.

The usual tents and celebratory hangouts before the game will not be allowed for the Noles season opener against Georgia Tech. Masks are not just required to be worn to get into the stadium but must be kept on once fans are seated.

Needless to say, much has changed in order to make football happen.

Friday afternoon, the stadium is filled with an air of preparation and setup, as vendors and staff get ready for the roughly 20,000 fans who will be filling up the stands.

In a normal year, the stadium would make preps for the usual sea of 80,000 or so.

But at 25% capacity, Doak Campbell Stadium has separated seats in groups of even numbers, leaving one row or bleacher in between groups.

Masks are required for entry, walking around, and to sit and watch the game.

Vendors have also been limited, some stands even have a Plexiglas exterior. For any fan looking to make a purchase during the game, they can only pay with card, to limit touch interactions.

“We have come a long way since march and I think that we are all blessed to say that we have a game and that we can have fans at our games,” said Associate Athletics Director Jason Dennard.

And speaking of fans, the tradition of tailgating is not allowed to take place on Saturday.

Marty Massey grew up in Tallahassee and now lives in Jacksonville. He has been a ticket holder for 43 years and says, “Seems to be a little overkill to me but that is just my personal opinion.”

However, FSU Police share that the cancellation of tailgating and other measures at the stadium will be re-evaluated at every game.

“We want to just have a great experience, and if our fans don’t abide by these rules that is going to be hard to do,” Lieutenant John Baker said.

While Baker says no penalties will be given to those who do not abide, patrol cars will be enforcing the no-tailgate rule.

Dennard furthers, “There are a lot of schools in the ACC and other conferences that are not allowing fans right now. So this is a blessing. This is an opportunity to do it and do it the right way.”

Fan lots, like the one off of Stadium Drive and Lake Bradford, usually hold up to 180 fans and their RV/trailers. But for this weekend, they are only holding 70.

But those like David Montague, who has been a Booster for 10 years, says he will do what is needed to watch his beloved Noles.

“I am happy that we are back and that we will be able to actually go to the game,” he said.

Massey adds, “Getting sports started back again, just being able to go to a game is fun to me.”

To help alleviate crowds congregating outside the gates of the stadium, the gates will be open two hours prior to kickoff and the parking lots will be open two and a half hours before. FSU PD states that fans should pay attention to their gate on their ticket, and enter through that gate. It will not only be closer to your seat and parking, but also help to avoid large gatherings at entrances.

Copyright 2020 WCTV. All rights reserved.

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