Cardinal Stadium will open to fans with COVID procedures in place

Cardinal Stadium will open to fans with COVID procedures in place
The University of Louisville has announced changes in seating capacity for the upcoming 2020-2021 college football season.
The University of Louisville has announced changes in seating capacity for the upcoming 2020-2021 college football season. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - College football is back in Louisville, as UofL welcomes Western Kentucky University to Cardinal Stadium on Saturday.

The plan to keep fans and teams safe during the pandemic has changed several times in the past few weeks. Universities in the commonwealth like UofL, the University of Kentucky, and Western Kentucky have been working with the governor’s office to safely start the competition.

On Saturday, social distancing will keep the crowd to 20 percent capacity in the bowl and in suites, with about 12,000 fans expected at Cardinal Stadium.

“I think college football is a big part of activities for the fall,” UofL season ticket holder James Strange said. “I know, personally, I’m excited to get out there and help support the university and the students.”

Strange and his family were emailed all the COVID-19 protocols that will be followed, from sanitizing every touchpoint before fans arrive at the usual hand-sanitizing stations, and six feet apart cues for concessions.

His take? Everyone should start getting used to it.

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Some call Mayor Caldwell's latest mask mandate request government overreach
Some call Mayor Caldwell's latest mask mandate request government overreach

“Even with a vaccine, I think it’s going to be 2020-21, so we might as well get the process going, and I would hope if you want to attend the games that you’re going to wear a mask,” he said. “I’m more than comfortable wearing my mask out at events.”

Fans must be masked unless eating or drinking. Those not wearing them will get a warning the first time and then be asked to leave if they don’t comply.

Many guidelines are similar to what Louisville City FC already has been doing for home games at Lynn Family Stadium, and what Churchill Downs did for the Kentucky Oaks and the Kentucky Derby over the weekend.

Strange said his seats have moved over one section.

“During the seat selection process you can see four seats on each side are blocked out,” he explained. “The entire row behind you is blocked out. We picked the seats, they looked safe, they looked comfortable and there’s no one in front of us because we are at the very beginning of that section.”

Staff members will enter through Gate 2B where their temperatures will be taken.

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Cardinal Stadium (Source: Air 3, WAVE 3 News)
Cardinal Stadium (Source: Air 3, WAVE 3 News)

Other gates will open to ticket holders 90 minutes before game time, and although parking lots will open three hours before the game, tailgating is not allowed.

“They’ve taken the steps for the fans, the students and I’m comfortable they’re going to get it right," Strange said of UofL leadership.

The kickoff for Saturday night’s game is set for 8 p.m.

Copyright 2020 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.