A&M officials taking COVID-19 precautions ahead of home opener at Kyle Field
Aggie game day kicks off against Vanderbilt next Saturday
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - Texas A&M University officials are taking extra precautions, and following both SEC and CDC guidelines ahead of its home opener next Saturday.
As you arrive at Kyle Field, the first thing you may notice is that there will not be any tailgating ahead of the game. Any tents or grills are not permitted, and guests are asked to arrive no sooner than four hours before kick-off. This is for the first game, and university officials say they plan to decide about later games soon.
Another Aggie tradition, Spirit Walk, will not be taking place for the entire season, along with kids yell. The Pepsi Fan Zone and Victory Street will not have food and interactive areas as well.
Deputy Athletic Director External Michael Thompson says that they are taking these precautions one step at a time and reassessing each one after every game.
“You don’t want to bite off more than you can chew, and you look at it, monitor it, and if things go well then you introduce a new variable,” said Thompson. “So that’s what most recent history is showing and that’s been the most successful way to navigate this, is to be methodical, patient, and be decisive.”
In an effort to educate fans on how to stay safe while enjoying the game, hundreds of signage are posted. Signs remind fans to social distance, wash hands, and most importantly to keep masks on.
“In order to get to your seat you’ve got to wear your mask. In order to sit in your seat, you’ve got to wear a mask. In order to go to the restroom, buy a t-shirt, get out of the stadium you have to wear your mask. So really the only exception to that is when you’re eating and drinking. We’ve even gone one step further than that, the CDC just recently came out with a policy that you actually have to stay in one spot whenever you’re eating and drinking," said Kevin Hurley Senior Associate Athletic Director.
Hurley says the most important thing to remember this year before entering the stadium is your ticket and your mask. Anyone that does not comply with wearing a mask correctly can be kicked out of the game.
“The biggest thing that’s on the fans and for that matter everybody in the stadium in order to have game two we have to be successful at game one and so from that standpoint we have to practice social distancing, we have to practice wearing your mask we have to have hand sanitizer wash your hands that kind of thing," said Hurley.
Inside the stadium during the game, yell leaders will no longer be on the field, rather they will be on platforms in the stands. The Aggie band will also not be allowed on the field at all and will stay in the stands and play from there.
Another aspect that will look a little different is the introduction to new technology. University officials suggest downloading the 12th Man Mobile App ahead of the game to handle tickets, play trivia, share selfies, and partake in the in-venue light show.
All concession stands and merchandise locations will also be completely cashless. University officials say that this is a way to limit the contact between employees and fans on game day.
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