Mississippi State football: State updates stadium policy

Games are going to look a lot different for Mississippi State football this season in Starkville. The state of Mississippi updated its stadium policy ahead of Mississippi State’s Week 2 matchup against the Arkansas Razorbacks. The game is being held on Oct. 3 and will be the first game played in Davis Wade Stadium this season.

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves signed Executive Order 1525 on Sept. 30. Per this order, the statewide mask mandate that has been in place since Aug. 4, has been ended.

“I am not extending the statewide mask mandate, but I want to be clear, I still believe masks work,” Reeves said. “I think the facts and the data across this country bear that out.”

The order also lists a number of new policies that College and University stadiums will have to follow.

Executive Order 1525 New Stadium Operation Guidelines:

  • Face coverings are required by all attendees 6 years or older to enter and exit a college or university stadium.
  • Attendees are required to wear face coverings while “in transit” within the concourse, elevators, restrooms, and concessions sales areas when it is not possible to social distance.
  • Attendees are strongly encouraged to wear masks in seating areas even when it is possible to social distance.
  • All credentialed game day workers and employees are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings at all times.
  • All stadium entry/exit gates and restrooms shall be open.
  • Hand sanitizing and/or handwashing stations shall be available at all entry gates, in stadium concourses, and throughout all stadium areas.
  • All transactions shall be contactless or touchless such as mobile ticketing, contactless ticket scanning, touchless restroom fixtures, cashless concession sales, and the like, to the extent possible.
  • Elevator capacity shall be restricted to family units or a maximum of five attendees.
  • Sideline regulations shall be strictly enforced to minimize the number of individuals on the field to those essential for play.
  • Concession workers are required to wear face masks and attendees are to social distance in line and not congregate in concession areas.

Previously on Aug. 21, Mississippi State revealed its game day operational guidelines for the 2020 season. Capacity for Wade Davis Stadium has been set at approximately 25%, meaning you should expect to see around 15,300 fans in attendance on Saturdays. Club areas and suites will be limited.

In its announcement, Mississippi State outlined a number of guidelines to ensure a safe and healthy football season for all those involved.

Mississippi State 2020 Game-Day Operational Guidelines:

  • Enhanced cleaning and sanitization procedures throughout the stadium prior to and during all games.
  • All stadium workers and athletic department staff will wear face coverings at all times.
  • Face coverings are required by all attendees while entering and exiting the stadium, as well as movement throughout the stadium.
  • All guests, employees, and stadium workers will conduct self-screening prior to leaving home.
  • Hand sanitization stations will be provided throughout the stadium along with increased directional signage to encourage social distancing.
  • Queued lines at all gates, concession stands, and merchandise locations will be marked with social distancing markers.
  • Transition to cashless payment for purchases, including merchandise and concessions.
  • Modified restroom layouts to provide proper social distancing.
  • The transition to solely mobile ticketing to provide contactless entry at gates.
  • Tailgating will not be permitted on MSU’s campus this season in accordance with Executive Order 1519.
  • The Dawg Walk tradition where fans high-five the team as they enter the stadium will be put on pause for this season.
  • Beer sales will be allowed in Davis Wade Stadium in compliance with the Mississippi Legislature’s adoption of Senate Bill 2253.

According to the Mississippi State Department of Health, Mississippi currently has 98,190 COVID-19 cases and 2,969 deaths.

Photo courtesy of MSU Athletic Communications