BOULDER – The University of Colorado athletic department on Thursday afternoon received approval from Boulder County Health for its football game day protocols related to COVID-19 mitigation, including a limited number of family members from both teams who will be allowed to attend CU’s season opener next week.
The Buffaloes kickoff their revised 2020 schedule on Saturday, Nov. 7, against the UCLA Bruins, the game time set for 5:00 p.m. MST for a nationally televised game on ESPN2. The protocols include a mandatory face covering requirement, physical spacing, no tailgating and the ability at Folsom Field to host up to 920 family members of CU’s and UCLA’s players and football staff.
In line with Pac-12 Conference guidelines, there will be no general public fan attendance. Earlier this month, conference leaders approved the provision for guests of football players and staff provided each individual university could gain approvals from their local public health officials. Players suiting up for both teams will each receive four complimentary tickets in line with NCAA guidelines. The Pac-12 has mandated that 400 of the 920 seats are to be allotted to the visiting team.
The ability to host football player and staff family members for CU’s remaining two home games (Nov. 21 versus Arizona State and Dec. 11 against Utah, with a possibility of a fourth on Dec. 19) will remain dependent on evolving public health conditions throughout the season, and CU will remain in close contact with local public health officials during the season.
“We are appreciative of county and state health officials for their diligence in protecting Colorado communities and for the thorough and thoughtful review of our game day plans,” CU Athletic Director Rick George said. “The health and safety of our players, coaches, staff and game attendees is our top priority, and we will take a number of precautions in our stadium to help ensure a safe game day experience.”
Those allowed to attend this fall will be divided into pods of 175 or fewer once they enter the stadium. Each pod will share designated restrooms and concessions facilities. Face coverings will be required for all attendees at all times while in the stadium. Tailgating either pre- or postgame will not be allowed, and game attendees will not be allowed to congregate in groups on campus before or after the game.
All game day staff will go through a health screening process prior to entering the stadium, including temperature checks and completion of a health questionnaire.
In addition, there are also several physical distancing requirements for media, both in the press box and on the sidelines, reducing the number of media who will be permitted to cover the game in-person. All postgame press conferences will be conducted virtually for both CU and the visiting team.
With the vast majority of fans not being able to attend the games in person, they are encouraged to watch the games at home, as all will be televised either by the ESPN or FOX family of sports networks. It is still advised to avoid gathering in groups and abide by all public health guidelines, including state of Colorado and Boulder County requirements related to size and household limits for gatherings.
Game day protocols for the men’s and women’s basketball seasons, which begin in late November, are still being established.