In the least surprising news of the week, West Virginia University athletic director Shane Lyons has announced that the Mountaineers’ season opener against Eastern Kentucky will take place on September 12th with no fans in attendance.
Due to safety precautions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, only essential game operations personnel and families of the players and football staff will be admitted into Milan Puskar Stadium on gameday.
“We are disappointed that we will not be able to allow fans to attend the Sept. 12 home game, but we are working diligently to open our gates for Big 12 Conference play,” Lyons said. “It is our goal to have fans at Milan Puskar Stadium this season, but right now, that is not possible for the EKU game.
“Our primary collective University focus right now is on the start of classes and the safe return of our students to our WVU Campuses. 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 Oct. 3 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.”
Expected capacity at Big 12 Conference home games, starting on Oct. 3 vs. Baylor, will be announced in the future and determined by local public health conditions at the time.
According to the official release from the athletic department, 2020 season ticket purchasers will be receiving information from the Mountaineer Athletic Club and the Mountaineer Ticket Office on options for allocating their season ticket investment for any remaining home games with spectators. Football season ticket holders from 2019 will maintain ticket priority for 2021, regardless of their purchase status in 2020.