On Friday, the University of Virginia officially announced that it will have reduced seating capacity for home sporting events due to regulations brought on by COVID-19.
The Cavaliers will allow for “the lesser of 50 percent occupancy of the facility or 1,000 patrons” at home sporting events this fall. The decision follows guidelines provided by state officials.
Unfortunately for Virginia fans, the athletic department also announced that “UVa home competitions will be limited to family of student-athletes and each team’s coaching staff until further notice.” Fans not related to players or coaches will have to watch from home for the time being.
UVa says it will make additional announcements on attendance should state officials make changes to the restrictions surrounding large gatherings.
“We are excited that our student-athletes have the opportunity to return to competition soon, but unfortunately, we will have to do so without fans to start the season as we follow the state and local agency guidelines regarding the operation and capacity of our athletic venues,” Carla Williams, UVa’s director of athletics, said in a release.
The guidelines apply to all of UVa’s home fall sports programs. This means only 1,000 fans will be permitted inside Scott Stadium when the Virginia football team takes the field. UVa may welcome fewer than 1,000 people, since only family members of student-athletes and coaches will be allowed to attend.
The Cavaliers averaged 47,811 fans per game a season ago, and the Cavaliers brought in crowds of more than 52,000 people in three home contests. That won’t be the case this season.
Other programs, like UVa’s soccer teams, the field hockey program, volleyball and cross country also face capacity limits. Given the smaller team size of those groups and only family members of players and coaches being allowed, it’s likely home attendance will fall below 1,000 people.
“These are unprecedented times and we are thankful for the patience and continued support of everyone,” Williams said.
Williams encouraged fans to stay up-to-date with game coverage through the team’s social media feeds, VirginiaSports.com and through television coverage.