MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – WVU Football will play its first home game with fans in attendance on Saturday against Big 12 rival Kansas.
However, there are new rules for fans who will be attending the game at Milan Puskar Stadium. April Messerly, WVU’s associate athletic director for facilities and events, said the stadium will be at 25 percent capacity and said there would be COVID-19 precautions that all fans have to abide by.
To enter Mountaineer Field, face coverings will be required of all spectators. We are encouraging all of those folks to keep their face coverings, always wear your face coverings with the temporary exception when fans are eating or drinking. And so that’s the first hurdle to even enter Mountaineer Field is a face covering is required that covers your mouth and nose. We will be observing physical distancing in all of our queueing locations, so that is at the gate that is at the restrooms, at the concession areas, and that will go hand in hand with that reduced capacity seating, which is assigned seating for folks in a distanced manner.April Messerly – Associate Athletics Director/Facilities & Operations
Messerly said the game’s largest groups would consist of six people because they bought their tickets together. This means keeping fans socially distanced should be easier.
She said WVU Athletics had worked closely with both local and state health officials and the university’s administration to come up with the best guidelines for keeping fans safe during the game. However, she added that whether fans are actually safe will be determined by following the new rules that have been put in place.
“The only way we’re going to be able to keep this going is if our fans buy-in and follow those same guidelines, right,” Messerly said. “Sit where you’re supposed to sit, wear your mask, distance when you’re in line, all those kinds of things because the goal at the end of the day is for Mountaineer Football to be able to continue but to balance it with a safe venue and a safe environment.”
Messerly said all season long, players, coaches, and other team members have done their best to follow the new rules, so now it’s up to fans to prove that they can do the same.
She said their behavior will be crucial to determining if fans are allowed back for the rest of the season.
“Mountaineer Nation is one of the proudest fan bases in the country, and I can tell you I worked the first two games, and it was like an eerie bad dream,” Messerly said. “It just didn’t seem — it was just very, very surreal, and I don’t know if I have another word for it. So we are really excited for fans to be back at Mountaineer Field, and again we worked really hard with our plan to do it in a safe manner, and we really hope that our fans abide by our new house rule so that we can continue to have fans at Mountaineer Field.”