The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

Vanderbilt to allow ‘limited’ student attendance for home opener against LSU

After announcing that it would not allow anyone to attend athletic contests through October, Vanderbilt athletics announced it will allow a ‘limited’ number of students to attend.
Emily Gonçalves
Vanderbilt fans contrasting with Georgia fans in their 2019 matchup. (Hustler Multimedia/Emily Gonçalves)

Vanderbilt athletics announced on Sept. 28 that it will allow a “very limited” number of students to attend Vanderbilt football’s home opener against the No. 2o LSU Tigers. The announcement came roughly two and a half weeks after Vanderbilt initially decided to proceed with no fans in attendance.

“As part of our ongoing efforts, we’ve decided to allow a very limited number of Vanderbilt students to attend the Oct. 3 game and cheer on our student-athletes,” Athletic Director Candice Storey Lee said in a press release. “This is a small step toward normalcy based on guidance from our public health partners, but we are not taking it lightly. We will work to ensure the health and safety of the Vanderbilt community as much as possible.”

Senior undergraduate students will be given first priority to attend Vanderbilt’s home opener on Oct. 3, and will be contacted via email with more information on how to reserve tickets. All decisions about student attendance at future football games will be determined after the first game, according to the press release.

In the press release, the athletics department cited Vanderbilt’s COVID-19 positivity rate, which “continues to trend low” as a contributing factor. According to Vanderbilt’s COVID-19 dashboard, the university registered 38 positive tests in 6,790 test results from Sept. 21-27, good for a 0.56% positivity rate.

While the university has not yet released in-game protocols for prospective spectators, the release noted that the university will work directly with Vanderbilt Stadium to ensure that students are practicing physical distancing and wearing masks. Additionally, in order to mitigate movement across the stadium, all concessions stands will remain closed.

“Athletics is an important way for our community to connect with one another,” Chancellor Daniel Diermeier added. “Game day adds to the undergraduate student experience, providing an opportunity for students to participate in university traditions and make memories with friends. We believe that we can allow a limited number of students to attend as safely as possible and help foster school spirit and create meaningful connections among all our students.”

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About the Contributors
Simon Gibbs
Simon Gibbs, Former Sports Editor
Simon Gibbs (‘21) is the former Sports Editor for The Vanderbilt Hustler. He has been on staff since the first semester of his freshman year, previously serving as a Staff Writer, Senior Writer and Deputy Sports Editor. Simon is also the host of VU Sports Wired on Vanderbilt Video Productions and The Hustler Sports 30 on VandyRadio. Simon has attended several events as credentialed media, including the 2019 NFL Draft, 2019 College Baseball World Series and the 2019 SEC Tournament. Outside of his Commodore coverage, Simon has had bylines published on and When he's not writing, you can find Simon watching his hometown New York Mets, waiting for that next ring. For tips, comments or concerns, please reach out to: [email protected]    
Emily Gonçalves
Emily Gonçalves, Former Multimedia Director
Emily Gonçalves (‘20) was the Multimedia Director of the Vanderbilt Hustler. She majored in Mathematics and Economics and minored in Latin American Studies. When she’s not taking photos, you can catch this Jersey girl making puns, singing, advocating for girls’ education and drinking lots of chocolate milk and espresso!
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