LSU announces its 2020 coronavirus-driven game day policies

Take away the LSU band on the field, 75,000 fans and the fireworks and you have what Saturday's home opener vs. Mississippi State will look like with 25 percent capacity allowed due to COVID-19 social distancing

LSU announced Wednesday its gameday policy changes with Tiger Stadium opening the 2020 season with 25% capacity because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The more notable guidelines include no tailgating, the required wearing of masks outside and inside of Tiger Stadium (except to eat and drink), no bands on the field, and no Tiger Walk down “Victory Hill” including band and team walk.

Only ticketed fans will be permitted inside the fenced perimeter which will include the PMAC and portions of North Stadium Drive.

“This plan focuses on the health and safety of all those attending LSU football games, from the fans to the team to the workers,” Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said. “By reducing the capacity and taking a year off from tailgating, which puts LSU in line with other SEC schools, the plan allows for fans to be socially distanced in Death Valley.”

LSU athletic official said plans for 2020 are subject to change before and during the season along with changes to public-health guidelines related to the spread of COVID-19.

“By all of us doing a few things differently this season, we’re going to safely play football with fans in the stands and that’s exciting for everyone who loves LSU,” said LSU Athletic Director Scott Woodward. “Doing this safely and smartly is our shared responsibility. It’s important for this community, our school and our student-athletes.”

Here’s a breakdown on various areas:

TICKETS

The deadline for ticketholders who want to opt out of their 2020 season tickets is Friday. They can do so via a form that will be emailed from the LSU Ticket Office this week. Single game tickets are not available at this time.

Tiger Stadium capacity will be limited to 25% for the start of the 2020 season. The LSU Athletic Ticket office will work to seat singles and groups of up to approximately 8 people as close to their original seat locations as possible.

LSU Athletics anticipates all ticketholders who opted in for the 2020 season will get at least a portion of their ticket allocation. 2020 season ticketholders should expect their total allotment of tickets to be reduced in order to ensure a maximum number of ticketholders can attend games in 2020. The LSU Athletic Ticket office will be in touch about next steps in the distribution process.

All tickets will be mobile. Fans should access their account on LSUtix.net .or from the new LSU Sports Mobile App. Mobile tickets will be distributed the week of each game to accommodate any changes in schedule or capacity.

For student tickets, LSU Athletics and LSU Student Government are coordinating ticket plans and will be in contact with students via email with details.

Students will be able to enter through any gate. The Student section will remain in the north end zone, Students will be grouped with assigned seating for physical distancing.

PARKING

All parking lots, including free lots, will require a permit and will open four hours before game time. The LSU Athletic Ticket Office will contact ticketholders with information on obtaining a free or paid parking permit. Unused parking lots will be closed and not permitted for public use. 

Lot assignments will be adjusted to consolidate parking close to Tiger Stadium. Shuttles will not be made available at this time. For the 2020 season, ADA Parking will be accommodated in the Nicholson Gateway Parking Garage.

MOTOR HOME/RV OVERNIGHT PARKING

Overnight parking for motor homes/RVs will be accommodated in lot 412 only and will open at 6 pm on Fridays for motor homes and RVs only.

Social gatherings, RV hopping and tailgating will not be permitted in overnight parking. Fans are asked to gather only with their travel party and within the footprint of their motor homes or RV.

The LSU Athletic Ticket office will be in contact with motor home and RV parking permit holders with more details.

TAILGATING

Tailgating on campus will not be permitted and LSU Athletics is encouraging fans without tickets to enjoy the game from home in order to help minimize the number of people on campus.

In order to comply with public health guidelines, tailgating and tailgate setups, including tents, tables and chairs, grills, generators, fencing or flooring, TVs, portable audio systems trailers, outdoor cooking, generators, bars. coolers, catering or food sales, and communal food and beverage areas will not be permitted on campus.

All campus buildings will be closed. Bathrooms on campus will be closed. Porta-potties will be limited.

FAN SAFETY PRECAUTIONS

Face masks covering the nose and mouth are required on campus and inside Tiger Stadium. Face masks may be temporarily removed while consuming food and beverages. Face shields should only be worn in combination with a face mask. Physical distancing will be mandatory in all areas. Fans are not permitted to smoke or vape on LSU campus.

Fans are asked to reduce what they bring to Tiger Stadium to minimize contact points and bag searches. Fans must follow all safety and health guidelines as indicated by on-premise signage at Tiger Stadium.

PHYSICAL DISTANCING

The Tiger Stadium footprint will be expanded to allow for physical distancing and additional entry gates. Fans should maintain 6-feet of physical distancing at all times.

Physical distancing will be enforced at all gates, concessions stands, restrooms and merchandise stands. Concession stands and bathrooms that cannot accommodate physical distancing in lines will be closed.

Elevator use will be limited capacity and restricted to immediate family units. Fans who need to use elevators are encouraged to arrive early. Fans will be encouraged to use stairs and ramps rather than elevators when possible.

Staff will monitor lines for restrooms for physical distancing.

ENTRY GATES

New ticket gate layout will accommodate queuing with 6-feet social distancing and additional entry gates will be added. Ticketed fans can enter through any gate. New entry procedures and protocols will be detailed at a later date.

Via fencing, the Tiger Stadium footprint is being expanded for physical distancing. Only ticketed fans will be permitted inside the fenced perimeter which will include the PMAC and portions of North Stadium Driive.

The clear bag policy remains in place, though fans are encouraged not to bring bags into the stadium. Bag checks will be very limited, and times of entry increased for those fans who bring bags into the stadium. Medical bag checks will be at Southwest gate and gates 9 and 10.

CONCESSIONS AND MERCHANDISE

All transactions will be cashless. Cash to credit machines will be available.

Fans will be permitted to bring one 32 ounce or smaller factory sealed bottle of water allowed into Tiger Stadium.

Limited concession stands will be open. Concession stands that cannot accommodate physical distancing in lines will be closed. Concession stands will offer a simplified menu with only pre-packaged items to minimize contact with food and decrease transaction times. Pre-packaged condiments will be provided to fans. Refill stations have been disabled. Fans will receive refills from the concession stand.

There will be no self-service buffets in premium areas. Staff will serve fans. Additional vending machines will be installed throughout the stadium.

Fans can locate open concession stands with the new LSU Sports Mobile App.

PREMIUM AREA SUITES

“Suite hopping” will be prohibited. Hand sanitizer will be available in each suite. Suite menus will be adjusted for “grab-and-go” items. No live LSU game feed on televisions during game on common area televisions. All common area furniture will be removed.

PREMIUM AREA CLUB SPACES

Physical distancing will be accommodated at all served buffet and beverage lines. Sneeze guards have been installed at buffets.  Staff will serve guests at buffets. Disinfectant teams will be periodically cleaning throughout club spaces. Hand sanitizer will be provided throughout club spaces. Food and drink must be consumed in seating area and will be served in to go boxes.

PRE-GAME EVENTS AND BAND AND CHEERLEADERS

Besides no Tiger Walk down “Victory Hill” including band and team, there’s also no TAF pregame tailgate held inside the PMAC for TAF members and guests, no National L Club pregame tailgate and no Nicholson Drive Gateway activities.

The Tiger Marching Band will not “step off” at the Greek Theater. The Tiger Marching Band size will be reduced for physical distancing. The band will not perform along North Stadium for the Tiger Walk or at the PMAC.

Per SEC policy, bands will be restricted from performing on the field before games and at halftime. Visiting team bands and spirit squads will not be permitted in Tiger Stadium.

On-field performances, presentations and recognitions shall be prohibited including, but not limited to, sponsor and donor recognitions and athletic department student-athlete and team recognitions.

ENHANCED SANITATION AND SEATING PROTOCOLS

All industry-standard ICS cleaning and disinfection best practices for seating, concourses, restrooms and other areas of the stadium have been implemented. Additional staff will be on site dedicated solely to cleaning and disinfecting.

Staff have completed a top-to-bottom deep cleaning and sanitation of Tiger Stadium. Restrooms will be regularly disinfected. Hand sanitizer will be provided at all levels and at concession stands and bathrooms. Hand-washing stations have been installed around Tiger Stadium.

FANS WITH MEDICAL ISSUES

Fans with medical issues as listed by the CDC are encouraged to enjoy games on television from home this season. LSU Athletics is asking all Tiger fans to adhere to health and safety guidelines as directed by public health officials. Geaux Safe and other in-stadium policies remain in place for 2020 and LSU officials are asking fans to reduce what they bring to games to help minimize contact points for bag checks.

Fans with questions regarding any LSU Athletics policy should contact LSU Guest Services at (225) 578-4085 or the LSU Athletic Ticket Office at 225-578-0100 during normal business hours (M-F, 8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. CT). This service will also be available before, during and after LSU Athletics events.

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