Football Traditions Disrupted by COVID-19


Time Magazine

Football stands looking more sparse than usual because of COVID-19


  Professional and college sports are back, but because of COVID-19, one of fans’ most beloved traditions, tailgating has either been modified or even banned across the nation. The Milwaukee Bucks are one of several sports teams preparing for the possibility of the unknown when it comes to welcoming fans back next season.   

  As concerns about another fall or winter spike intensify, National Basketball Association commissioner Adam Silver said that the NBA likely won’t return until 2021. Populous is working with teams like the Bucks to create these unique outdoor viewing spaces.  

  From a North Carolina standpoint, teams like NC State and UNC are banning all tailgating near the stadium. They are giving two tickets to the families of the players, and also allowing a select few students in.  

  Other power five conferences, such as the Southeastern Conference Football games, won’t have their normal scenes of packed stadiums and partying tailgaters. Teams like Louisiana State University Football who are notoriously famous for their big tailgates, have cancelled on all stadium grounds. 

  Florida opened up the stadium for full capacity, which ended up being a major mistake. Since opening the stadium, Florida has had 25 players test positive for COVID-19— even Head Coach Dan Mullen. 

  Coach Dan Mullen, who tested positive for COVID-19 last week, told reporters on Wednesday that he’s feeling well and remains in isolation at home.

  Mullen believes the initial outbreak was caused by the team’s travel to Texas A&M University on October 10, and that it could have been the result of one or two players having the virus and spreading it on the flight to College Station. In the meantime, Mullen and the rest of his staff continue to work remotely.

 Teams across the country like Oregon are also taking the same precautions, such as banning all pregame tailgating and limiting crowds. In addition, their players have to quarantine the entire season.

  Oregon defensive coordinator Andy Avalos shared his thoughts about this unprecedented season saying, “Shoot pre-game tailgate we don’t get to be a part of that anyway. Stadium not full is different but shoot at least we get to play!” 

  COVID-19 has drastically changed sports in 2020, and people have to cooperate to get through this pandemic. Hopefully by 2021, we will be able to resume our pregame traditions with friends and loved ones.