When Clemson announced on Thursday it will allow a capacity of 19,000 fans at Memorial Stadium, it also asked that those fans refrain from tailgating.
The release stated parking areas will open three hours prior to announced kickoff times and fans are asked to refrain from tailgating during the 2020 season. Tents and trailers are prohibited.
During a Zoom call with the media on Friday, Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich was asked why the school is asking fans not to tailgate this coming season.
“It is really one of those things where we need to protect the environment of the campus,” he said. “We have students that will be here once we have our first (home) game and we want our students to be able to have a safe environment on campus. We don’t want athletics to be the cause of any issue associated with the potential closure of campus by having so many people out and about in a tailgating environment.”
Radakovich wants those fans, who are able to come to the games, to have a good time. But he wants fans to understand and to be considerate of how challenging this year is and how important it is for them to follow the rules that are put in place so there can be a football season.
“We ask our fans, the people who are going to have the ability to come to our games and park socially distant, not to have trailers, not to have tents,” he said. “Does that mean someone can’t get there when we open the parking lots three hours before the game, get out with the people inside their car, have a chicken drumstick and a Coca-Cola? That is not going to be a problem.
“What we do not want to have are large mass gatherings of people that we would normally see on a beautiful fall afternoon at Memorial Stadium. That is just not going to be able to happen in 2020.”
Radovich also addressed how Clemson will police violators who are not following the guidelines the state and the University are requiring for fans who attend games.
“We will have our normal security running through the stadium, as we have had each and very year, looking for people in normal circumstances who are disruptive, etc.,” the Clemson athletic director said. “We really have not got to that point where there will be potential repercussions. I think we will cross that bridge when we get to it.
“We hope, much like our student athletes have learned over time, peer pressure is really good. They learned how to be safe in this environment. So, if we need to, we will. But at this point in time, we do not have an ABC plan of what we would do as it relates to someone not wearing a mask or etc., inside the stadium. Certainly, you are allowed to take your mask off as you eat and drink. But as for coming and going on the concourse areas, those types of things are going to mandatory.”
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