Notre Dame finally announced its plans for fan attendance in 2020 on Monday and there will be many empty seats inside Notre Dame Stadium this fall. It was also reported that fake crowd noise will be permitted by ACC schools this year with limited capacities creating a new normal for 2020 that is anything but normal.
Notre Dame’s official policy that they released on Monday states that capacity of Notre Dame Stadium will be limited to a maximum of 20%. With a max capacity of around 80,000; that puts the max capacity for home games at 16,000 this fall.
Those seats will be filled primarily with students who will get first priority for tickets while the remaining tickets will go to Notre Dame faculty and staff. Families of student-athletes playing will also be permitted to attend games as well but will have designated areas of their own in the stadium.
In addition to limiting attendance, Notre Dame announced that masks will be required in the stadium, there will not be any tailgating permitted, and mobile tickets will be used in place of traditional paper tickets.
All of these measures are meant to keep attendance to those who are already on campus and part of the community – outside of the families of players.
With limited attendance at most stadiums and no attendance at all at some stadiums like Duke and North Carolina (for at least their games in September), it was also reported that the ACC will allow member programs to use artificial crowd noise during games this fall.
That noise is not permissible to make it impossible for opponents to communicate. On-field officials will also be able to make judgments on whether or not the noise is too loud and potentially enforce penalties.
Notre Dame didn’t specify in their release about the changes in the gameday experience whether or not they would be using fake crowd noise for its games this fall but expect Brian Kelly to be asked about it tomorrow when he meets with the media at noon ET.
Notre Dame stated that additional changes to game day policies will be released later. Kick-off for Notre Dame’s season-opener against Duke on September 12, for instance, has yet to be announced.