Vanderbilt amends football attendance policies; basketball to start without spectators

After missing the first three home games, parents and families of student-athletes will be allowed to attend Vanderbilt football’s two final home contests. Meanwhile, basketball will start the season without spectators.

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Emily Gonçalves

Vanderbilt fans contrasting with Georgia fans in their 2019 matchup. (Hustler Multimedia/Emily Gonçalves)

Simon Gibbs, Sports Editor

Vanderbilt athletics will allow parents and families of student-athletes as well as a limited number of graduate and professional students to attend the final two home football games against Florida on Nov. 21 and against Tennessee on Nov. 28, the university announced in a press release.

The first three home football games were closed off to a “limited” number of Vanderbilt undergraduate students; for the last two, Vanderbilt undergraduate students will not be permitted, the press release specifies.

“While we’ve been able to learn so much and adapt our approach in regards to how to manage our game day environment as safely and efficiently as possible, the pandemic continues to be a major challenge,” athletics director Candice Storey Lee said. “Yet our parents and families have made so many sacrifices in support of their student-athletes this season. I’d like to extend my deepest appreciation to them for their patience, understanding and cooperation throughout these difficult months. This is a well-deserved opportunity for them to cheer on our Commodores in-person.”

In amending the football attendance policies to allow families of student-athletes, Vanderbilt is allowing more fans than it did for the first three home games. Therefore, the release notes, up to 500 tickets will be allotted to visiting teams for their student-athlete family members as required by the SEC.

Vanderbilt basketball, on the other hand, will start its season without spectators in attendance, per the press release.

“Similar to our approach with fall sports, we owe it to ourselves, our student-athletes’ families and our fans to gather as much information as possible and understand all aspects of what a basketball game day looks like during this pandemic before determining our fan attendance policies,” Lee said. “We must also take into consideration the additional risks of competing indoors.”