By Michael Fragale
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, in conjunction with University, local and state officials, has determined that football’s Big 12 Conference home opener against Baylor on Oct. 3 will take place without spectators at Milan Puskar Stadium.
Due to safety precautions from the COVID-19 pandemic, only essential game operations personnel and families of the players and football staff will be admitted. Expected capacity at future Big 12 Conference home games will be determined by local public health conditions at the time.
“I understand it’s a disappointing decision but it’s the correct one. We have to do what’s best for the safety of the University and our local community,” Director of Athletics Shane Lyons said. “Our plans for a socially distanced seating manifest in the stadium have been ready for some time, but we need conditions to improve on campus and in the community before we can proceed. I encourage everyone to test when the opportunity to do so is made available.
“I continue to ask Mountaineer Nation for its understanding. We are doing everything possible to have fans at our home football games this season, and I can assure you that our players, coaches and department staff want that to happen. Taking aggressive and appropriate precautions to prevent the spread of this virus along with regular testing remains the key for all of us.”
Socially distanced plans for the WVU Cheer squad and members of the Pride of West Virginia to attend the Baylor game are currently being finalized. The game will be televised by ABC at noon.