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Ohio State University announced Monday what you won’t be seeing inside Ohio Stadium when Buckeyes football returns Saturday at noon against Nebraska. No Brutus Buckeye. No cheerleaders. No Ohio State band. Why? COVID rules.
“We need our students and all fans to watch the games at home and to not have or attend large watch parties,” Ohio State Director of Athletics Gene Smith said. “COVID-19 cases are rising, including in Ohio, and we can’t have our games become virus-spreading events. So we’re sincerely asking our fans to avoid large watch parties, don’t come onto campus because there’s no tailgating anyway, and enjoy watching the Buckeyes with family or limited numbers of friends because, this year, every game is a home game.”
Good luck with that, Gene. No parties? There will be packed bars across the state of Ohio as people seek the communal experience of Buckeyes fandom.
Ohio State announced attendance will be restricted to 656 player and coaching family guests at the games. Visiting teams may have up to 400 guests. Crowd noise will be pumped in and will go no higher than 70 decibels, the same level currently used in NFL stadiums. A maximum of 40 media members will be allowed into the press box.
A maximum number of 1,600 people will be allowed inside Ohio Stadium during home games, including teams, staff, officials, fans, game managers, and concessions.
And there you have it, 2020 Ohio State football, where a mascot wearing a giant head of a mask isn’t allowed into an outdoor football venue. Not in a very socially distanced location in the Horseshoe C-deck. Not in the upper reaches of the AA-deck. Not at all.
2020 would’ve been a great opportunity to create a giant bubble where Brutus could do his thing. I’m thinking of a 10’x10’X20′ plexiglass room somewhere inside the stadium where Brutus could pump his fists, signal first downs, and do whatever else mascots are supposed to do. But, it’s the Big Ten and we know at this point that Ryan Day and the team are lucky to have a season at all. So we’ll take what we can get. O-H.
Rollin into game week like… 🛹
— Brutus Buckeye 😷 (@Brutus_Buckeye) October 17, 2020