Open seats in sports arenas may become a more familiar site

Universities, including the University of Kansas are already planning for seating not to be at full capacity when college sports return.



June 3, 2020 - 10:42 AM

Udoka Azubuike #35 of the Kansas Jayhawks smiles with Isaiah Moss #4 after being fouled during the game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys at Allen Fieldhouse on Feb. 24, 2020 in Lawrence, Kan. Kanas won 83-58, and Azubuike reached the 1,000-point milestone. Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images/TNS

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Empty seats have been the norm the past few years at the University of Kansas, where a succession of football coaches has failed to turn around the flailing fortunes of the Jayhawks.

Now, all those open seats — and short lines and quiet concourses — will be the norm in stadiums just about everywhere.

The coronavirus pandemic has forced universities, leagues and franchises to evaluate how they might someday welcome back fans. While opinions vary from sport to sport, nation to nation and even state to state, one thing seems clear: Social distancing is a sure bet when fans return. So don’t expect 100,000-plus fans packed into Michigan Stadium for a football game this fall or 16,300 seated inside Kansas’ storied Allen Fieldhouse when college basketball season rolls around.

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