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Only 17k Gator fans will get a chance to cheer from The Swamp’s stands

17,000 physically distanced fans turns out the 20% of The Swamp’s more than 88,000 seats.
Published: Sep. 3, 2020 at 11:35 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - The sea of orange and blue fans are used to seeing in The Swamp will be more of a splash this season. The University Athletic Association announced the COVID-19 Swamp safety protocols on Thursday.

It’s a chance to be in the stands but not in a way any have experienced before.

“We’re just really really excited that the SEC and Florida have a football season,” said Captain of Gainesville Quarterback Club, John Stevens. Masks are required walking in and out of the stadium, the only exception is when fans are eating or drinking.

“We had the opportunity to roll our tickets over and give the money to help offset the cost of this year and so we’ve done that,” added Stevens. “But most of us will be scrambling for tickets on the open market like you said and I’m pretty sure for the LSU game we don’t care how much they cost. It’s just who can we get them from!”

17,000 fans will be at The Swamp’s home opener on Oct. 3 against South Carolina.

“But at least there’ll be some fans in the stands,” said Stever Russell, a sports analyst with TV 20 and WRUF.

UAA released a number of COVID-19 related changes including digital tickets, canceling tailgates on campus and removing spirit teams from the sidelines. Gator Walk and Gator Fanfest are also cancelled due to COVID-19.

“But I think it’s gonna be a percentage of students, percentage of alumni, boosters, those who pay fees, that sort of things,” added Russell. “Because I just don’t think the sec is gonna say to students, ‘you can’t come to the game.’ now who gets the tickets, how they get them, that’s another story. But I just don’t think students will be left out.”

With Oct. 3 fast approaching, it’s the fourth quarter and the question still remains. Who gets first chance at gator tickets and how much are they going for? The UAA will release that information and more details about game days by next week.

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