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Reduced capacity, safety protocols in place at KFC! Yum Center for UofL basketball

WAVE Louisville logo WAVE Louisville 11/24/2020 Stephen Goin
a large crowd of people watching a baseball game: UofL Yum! Center at maximum capacity © Tim Haag UofL Yum! Center at maximum capacity

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - College basketball fans are in for a new experience Wednesday when UofL takes on Evansville at the KFC! Yum Center.

UofL Athletic Director Vince Tyra announced Monday a series of COVID safety measures in place for all Cardinal home games. The protocols were created in collaboration with the Governor’s office and follow the guidance of the ACC medical advisory group.

“We get everybody here safe and we want them to stay safe,” Tyra said.

Among the safety measures, mobile ticketing and cashless concessions will limit interactions between fans and vendors. Temperature checks will be required at the door; face masks and physical distancing will be enforced inside the area. KFC Yum! Center General Manager Eric Granger explained that only clear bags are allowed inside.

“That way, we’re trying to eliminate all touch points including for our own staff,” he said.

Yum! Center capacity will be limited to 15%, approximately 3,000 fans per game, with all available seating in the lower levels or premium seating areas including suites. Plexiglass shields have also been installed around the court.

“The first row is a little more than 15 feet, but we want 15 feet from the floor to the fans where you see the plexiglass surrounding the other side around the team, the plexiglass allows us to get fans up a litter closer,” Tyra said. “[There’s] gonna be an energy in here to get the season started and I think people are going to be excited to support their team.”

On the court, each team will only be allowed 34 personnel, and bench seating will be spaced out too. There will be no band and no cheerleaders.

“We look forward to having our fans back, having our student athletes back on the world and making sure that we can show the rest of the world that events can take place if you operate them safely and enforce the protocols that you have,” Granger said.

The Cardinals season opener is part of a five game tournament, the Wade Houston Tip Off Classic. Teams will stay in a “bubble” at the Galt House hotel.

Tyra said the protocols are not likely to change even if a COVID vaccine is released during the season.

The University of Kentucky will follow similar gameday guidelines, with mandatory face masks, social distancing and health screenings. Temperature checks will be required and Rupp Arena capacity is being capped at 15%, about 3,075 fans.

Copyright 2020 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.

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