memorial stadium

A view of Memorial Stadium from the north end of the historic venue on Monday afternoon. Roughly 40 Illinois football players arrived back on campus on Monday to begin the process of starting voluntary workouts this week amid the coronavirus pandemic, the first time for many since the pandemic broke out in mid-March.

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CHAMPAIGN — University of Illinois Chancellor Robert Jones and athletic director Josh Whitman will take part in the university's latest COVID-19 Briefing Series at 11 a.m. Thursday with a focus on the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics' ongoing student-athlete return to campus protocols and plans for the 2020-21 season. Also taking part in the live stream, which will be open to the public, will be associate athletic director and sports medicine director Randy Ballard.

The Big Ten's announcement that all fall sports would play conference-only schedules was the first step in the return to play plan. Whitman and Jones will discuss plans for football gameday at Memorial Stadium in Thursday's live stream.

Illinois football gameday events will follow these guidelines: 

  • Memorial Stadium will be seated to 20% capacity with social distancing and reserved seating.
  • Face coverings will be required in public areas, and six-foot social distancing will be observed in the Great Halls and concourses.
  • Tailgating will not be allowed this season.
  • Increased cleaning will be conducted during the game and areas such as restrooms may be closed for brief periods for cleaning.
  • Concessions will be designed as "grab 'n go".
  • All tickets will be delivered via mobile device.

The university's plan remains a work in progress with many yet outstanding questions to answer. Complete plans will be shared with fans, donors and season ticket holders once finalized schedules are released by the Big Ten. 

Scott Richey covers college basketball for The News-Gazette. His email is srichey@news-gazette.com, and you can follow him on Twitter (@srrichey).

College/Prep Sports Reporter

Scott Richey is a reporter covering college basketball at The News-Gazette. His email is srichey@news-gazette.com, and you can follow him on Twitter (@srrichey).