Georgia State releases football season guidelines for 2020-21

Shawn Elliot and number thirty three Javonte Lain wait on the sideline before the start of the game against University of Tennessee. Photo by Matt Siciliano-Salazar | The Signal

Barring any setbacks, the Georgia State Panthers football team will kick off from Center Parc Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 19 against the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns.

Last year, the Panthers opened up their season at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville against the Tennessee Volunteers in front of 100,000 people in bright orange.

This season will be a bit different. For one, no home game will sell out.

“Georgia State plans to allow [Center Parc Stadium] to reach a maximum of 50% capacity during the 2020 season,” the university said in a July press release on

For those in attendance, Georgia State has issued a long list of criteria put in place to ensure everyone stays safe while enjoying the 2020 football season. 

For starters, face masks are required and to be worn for the entirety of the game. With lots of debates about what constitutes a “mask,” Georgia State has taken the liberty to describe their requirements for a face mask.

Approved face coverings must 1) be made with at least two layers of breathable material, 2) fully cover the nose and mouth and secure under the chin, 3) fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face and 4) be secured to allow the guest to not have to keep the covering in place with his/her hands,” per the press release.

Once in the stadium, fans will immediately notice a change in the seating. To limit contact with other fans, Georgia State has set up a strategic plan to maximize the number of fans in the stadium, while keeping a safe distance. 

“Using a checkerboard pattern, fans will be arranged in the stadium in a max block of eight seats together with no one in front or behind them. Rows that border the field or a walkway will also not be used to ensure safety for those in the stands or on the sidelines,” according to the press release.

Of course, fans will need to get food and drinks to watch their team win. The concession stands will still be open but with social distancing being practiced. Each in-stadium concession stand will also have plastic shields separating the staff from those in their beloved Panther blue.

Thinking about that first tailgate back? Keep thinking. Georgia State will not permit any tailgating in the plaza around Center Parc Stadium or in the parking lots. In addition, social distancing will be enforced, with what the press release described as “guidelines [applying] to all Georgia State-controlled parking areas around the stadium.”

Lastly, who can we expect to see in the stands? According to the press release, 2020 season ticket holders who opted in for the season will receive the highest priority of tickets, while supplies last, followed by Georgia State students and the visiting team’s affiliated personnel, such as friends, family and colleagues.

With these strict guidelines in place, Georgia State is confident that they will be able to compete in the 2020 season in a safe and entertaining way for fans.