STATE COLLEGE — Following the Pennsylvania health guidelines, Penn State will prohibit fans from tailgating on university property when the Nittany Lions open their 2020 football season next month.
“We will not be allowing tailgating in our parking lots and on campus property,” Penn State vice president for intercollegiate athletics Sandy Barbour said Thursday.
Barbour’s announcement came one day after the Big Ten cleared the path for a late-October start to the football season. The conference originally voted on Aug. 11 to postpone the fall sports season to the spring.
“(Tuesday), I voted to move forward with fall sports,” Penn State president Eric Barron said in a statement. “I did so based on an extraordinary amount of effort by a Big Ten task force over the last month to create the necessary conditions for a COVID-free arena of play.”
Barbour is also the co-chair of the Big Ten’s Medical Subcommittee for the Big Ten Return to Competitive Sports Task Force. On Wednesday, Barbour announced the Big Ten will not offer general ticket sales to the public.
“We are not going to permit fans in general, (no) sales of tickets,” Barbour said. “We are looking to see what we can do on a campus-by-campus basis to accommodate the families of our student-athletes, both home and away.”
Penn State’s Beaver Stadium has a capacity of more than 107,000, making it the second-largest college football stadium behind Michigan Stadium. In seven games last season, Penn State ranked second nationally in attendance as Beaver Stadium averaged 105,678 fans per home contest. Penn State also ranked second in 2018 (105,485 fans per game).
“This has always been about health and safety,” Barbour said. “We’re returning to an ability to play because we’ve determined that the playing can be done safely. We’ve made a decision as a conference not to have fans out of an abundance of caution. We’re really asking our Penn State nation to cheer us on. Have small home personal pod watch parties, but do it safely.”