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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

‘We’re trying to get to game two’

In+addition+to+stickers+on+the+ground+to+maintain+social+distancing+there+are+also+stickers+located+on+handrails+of+escalators+to+assist+in+keeping+six-feet+apart.
Photo by Meredith Seaver

In addition to stickers on the ground to maintain social distancing there are also stickers located on handrails of escalators to assist in keeping six-feet apart.

Texas A&M football kicks off the 2020 season against Vanderbilt on Saturday, but Kyle Field will operate under new circumstances amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Athletic Director Ross Bjork shared an infographic on Wednesday detailing the changes the athletic department has implemented in order to comply with health and safety regulations.
Kyle Field will operate at a 25 percent capacity, and facial coverings will be required for fans at all times except when eating or drinking.
Kevin Hurley, A&M senior associate athletics director for facilities, events and construction, said there are also guidelines in place for what constitutes appropriate times to be without a mask. While consuming food and drink, fans must remain in one spot, and if they wish to move, they will have to put their masks on to do so.
“The CDC has upgraded that where once you get your food, you have to get to a stationary spot,” Hurley said. “You can’t walk around with a bottle of water all day long in the club and that counts as you having something to eat or drink if you take your mask off.”
For individuals who do not comply with the facial covering requirements, Wayland Wess security have been trained to instruct fans to properly wear their masks. Once they have asked an individual “seven or eight” times to wear their mask properly, university police or other law enforcement officers will ask the person to leave, Hurley said.
“If we have a problem with an individual, we will go get a university police officer or law enforcement and we will ask you to depart,” Hurley said. “We sure don’t want to do that. Everybody has to participate in this for it to work.”
When entering the stadium on Saturday, there will be stickers on the ground at each entrance spaced six feet apart to remind fans to practice social distancing. For those bringing bags into the stadium, security personnel will search the bag using a stick that will be sanitized after each use.
There are also stickers on the handrails of the escalators to mark safe distance between passengers.
Concession stands and other points of sale will operate with limited contact between cashiers and customers. Plexiglass dividers have been installed at each register, and all registers will be cashless.
To minimize the spread of COVID-19 through the air in indoor areas, the air will be filtered six times per hour, which is the same amount as in medical facilities, Hurley said.
The athletic department has also installed “hundreds” of automatic flushers in Kyle Field’s restrooms to decrease the number of surfaces an individual needs to touch.
In order to comply with the SEC’s COVID-19 guidelines and limit the number of personnel on the field, the cannon will not be fired after every A&M score, though it will remain on display in the North endzone. Instead, the athletic department has filmed several firings of the cannon and will play those on the jumbotron, as they will do with the band’s halftime performances.
Ultimately, the athletic department is relying on fan compliance in order to continue with the football season as scheduled, Hurley said.
“Understand the mentality — we’re trying to get to game two,” Hurley said. “The only way we can do that is to be successful in game one. Everything is set up to be successful. Wear your mask, wash your hands, use hand sanitizer and be socially distanced.”

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  • Changes made to Kyle Field operations include plexiglass dividers and cashless registers.

  • Inside Kyle Field face coverings will be required for fans at all times except when eating or drinking.

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