MORGANTOWN—The West Virginia University football team still plans on kicking off their 2020 season against Eastern Kentucky on September 12th, but not a lot of people will be there to see it.
In conjunction with university, local, and state health officials, the decision was made to hold the Mountaineers’ home opener against the Colonels without spectators at Milan Puskar Stadium, the WVU Athletic Department announced on Thursday.
Only essential game operations personnel and families of the players and staff will be admitted into the stadium due to COVID-19 safety protocols. Attendance decisions for the Mountaineers’ Big 12 Conference home games should be announced in the next few days and will ultimately be determined by local public health conditions at that time.
“We are disappointed that we will not be able to allow fans to attend the September 12th home game, but we are working diligently to open our gates for Big 12 Conference play,” said WVU Athletic Director Shane Lyons. “It is our goal to have fans at Milan Puskar Stadium this season, but right now, that is not possible for the EKU game.”
Lyons also discussed how the return of students to campus will affect their athletic plans moving forward.
“Our primary collective University focus right now is on the start of classes and the safe return of our students to our WVU campuses,” Lyons explained. “I am hopeful that all of us will be aggressive in taking appropriate precautions to prevent the spread of this virus so that all parties can be comfortable allowing a percentage of fans to attend on October 3rd and beyond. Until then, I ask for your understanding of the decisions that are being made and trust that we are doing everything we can to welcome Mountaineer Nation back to one of the best atmospheres in college football.”
Fans who purchased 2020 season tickets will be receiving information in the next few days from the Mountaineer Athletic Club and the Mountaineer Ticket Office on their alternatives for the remaining home games. Options may include converting priority annual fund gifts to 100% tax-deductible MAC gifts to support WVU Athletics, rolling over MAC gifts and/or season ticket monies as a credit to the 2021 season, or simply receiving a full refund of the MAC gift and/or season ticket purchase.
Football season ticket holders from 2019 will maintain their ticket priority for 2021, regardless of their purchase status for 2020.