A “new normal” Gator football game day experience
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - The Gator football team played their first home game of the season but the fan experience has changed. Fans spoke up about a missing tailgating scene and an atmosphere unlike any before.
Anywhere you looked, popular tailgating spots were empty. Fans agreed fewer people walking around gives gameday a different feel.
“If we’re coming in around 9 o’clock normally the traffic is backed up and there are people all over the street,” said season ticket holder Dean Thompson who came from St. Augustine. “we were only on the road with two or three cars and nobody in the street so it was really weird.”
“Definitely the whole environment was different,” said UF Junior Emma Hennessey. "Walking out not having the tents and having, many fewer people. Still, if we can be here we’re happy.
“It’s definitely very weird we got to sleep in this morning because there was nothing to do before the game,” said UF Junior Ann Marie Tyler. “But it’s definitely weird walking to the stadium and going straight to the game.”
A few people did manage to hold mini tailgates which were strictly enforced.
“We’re doing a little bit of a tailgate thing and we’re being responsible we’re outdoors,” said Thompson. “If we get too many people together a little birdie comes over and says you got to break it up and that’s happened a couple of times.”
The fans we spoke to said they all felt safe with UF’s safety measures in place.
“I think it says a lot that I’m going because I get afraid to go to the grocery store,” said UF Junior Rachel Wiles. “So I feel it’s very safe, seats are spread out. I don’t see how it’s any different than passing people in the aisles of a grocery store.”
Uf mandated a capacity of no more than 17,000 fans. The actual attendance was a little over 15,000.
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