Lots of changes are coming to the Georgia State Sports Arena this fall

Georgia State will allow fans into its stadiums, but certain conditions will have to be met first. 

“At any event we have, whether it’s the fall volleyball or soccer [games], we’ll be able to have the fans,” Associate Athletic Director Mike Holmes said.

All the stadiums will adopt the “checkerboard pattern,” where fans will have to sit six feet apart in blocks of two-to-six adhering to social distancing standards. 

“If we have four seats being used on row seven, on one side of row seven, there would be nobody in front of them on row six and there would be nobody behind them on row eight,” Holmes said. 

Additionally, fans will be required to wear masks and face coverings and fans not feeling well will be required to stay home. Whether it be a cough or something worse, it is imperative that all fans take responsibility by looking out for one another and not risk anything.

Many students often wander around or hang out with friends at each other’s seats. This year, they will not have as much leeway. 

“Fans are going to be required to sit in their designated area … we will not do any general seating this year,” Holmes said. “You’ll have a seat that’ll be allocated to you … we’re going to ask and request that people stay in those seats.”

Also, certain things in the stadium are going to change. Masks and hand sanitizer will be provided to those who do not have it. Concessions stand lines will require people to stand six feet apart. 

In the men’s bathrooms, the urinals are placed six feet apart. Many other social distancing efforts have been implemented as well. 

“It’s kind of part of the whole stadium atmosphere of really trying to make it safe, and we will have it completely safe, as safe as can be, for all our fans to come,” Holmes said.

Of course, no home game can be complete without the Panther Band. They will be up in the stands, continuing to perform and cheer on the teams. However, they will not be allowed on the field, an area designated solely for student-athletes and coaches. 

“They’ll be able to perform in the stands, but they will not be on the field for anything pregame or anything at halftime,” Holmes said.

And following games, press conferences will no longer be in person. The traditional format will be eschewed in favor of Zoom calls, just like professional sports are doing now.

Correspondingly, interviews with student-athletes for any story will also be done over Zoom.

“Anything that relates to basketball or the spring sports, it’s way too early for us to be discussing or even thinking about those matters,” Holmes said.