AUBURN, Ala. (WTVM) - Auburn University announced Tuesday it’s going to allow increased stadium capacity at the annual A-Day spring football game Saturday.
Fans said they hope this is a step in the right direction of returning to normal in the pandemic.
Auburn University senior Patricia Montgomery said because of COVID-19, she didn’t get to cheer on the Tigers football team inside Jordan-Hare stadium last fall.
“It was kind of hard to miss out on that since it’s a big part of the Auburn experience,” she said.
Auburn’s annual A-Day football game is Saturday. The university announced it’s upping fan capacity at Jordan-Hare to 40 percent for the game, the most fans the stadium has seen since the 2019 football season.
“Especially with the vaccines rolling out, it’s nice to have a little bit of that normalcy again,” Montgomery said.
When it comes to vaccines, AU’s Medical Clinic Director Dr. Fred Kam said they’ve administered quite a few.
“We’ve given out over 12,000, close to 13,000, doses of vaccine,” he said.
Ahead of the spring game, Kam said there is concern about groups of people gathering, but he said the game is outside, it will be warm, and the local community transmission of the virus is low.
“When you put all those factors together, I believe we are in a better position now, than let’s say, we were last fall,” Kam said.
In fall of 2020, Jordan Hare’s capacity was capped at 20 percent, which is about 17,500 people. Saturday, double that number of fans can head to the game.
“It’s pretty exciting just to have somewhat of a fan base there,” Auburn student Brandon Clark said.
Tailgating still isn’t allowed and masks are required most places in the stadium, but fans said having the game with increased capacity is a step in the right direction with football season right around the corner.
“It’s a glimmer of hope that by this time next year, everything will be back to normal, even though I won’t be here to experience it,” Montgomery said.
According to Auburn Athletics, there will be COVID-19 protocols in place at A-Day, including touchless and cashless vendors and clustered seating arrangements.