WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — College football is back and with it comes full stadiums of fans. Many schools aren’t putting restrictions on crowds this year, including Purdue.
For many fans, this will be their first football game since 2019. That’s the story for Purdue fan, Brayton Cummins.
“I might shed a tear, I might cry,” he said.
Emotions are all over the place for the Purdue faithful. Last year, the Boilermaker football team played in front of limited crowds at best, but now the fans have the go-ahead to pack the stands.
“We’re going to be loud, we’re going to be proud, we’re in the stadiums, we’re in the seats, we’re screaming, we’re having fun, people are there,” Colin Quin, a Purdue alum, said.
Fans won’t have to wear masks in the stands or provide proof of a negative test result or vaccination.
”We’re glad that masks are off, it’s going to be a little bit back to normal,” Quin said.
Students said the idea of getting back to normal and being back in the Ross-Ade Stadium is great, especially after COVID-19 completely changed their college experience last year.
”Everyone is going to feel the sense of community at Purdue like what I felt at my first tailgate,” said Samantha Acke, a Purdue junior. “So I think it’s going to be fun for all the freshman and sophomores to experience.”
Large crowds packing stadiums will certainly be a shock to see for some after the 18 months we’ve had, but fans said they’re feeling comfortable.
”I’m vaccinated, we’re outside, were all vaccinated so we should be good,” Cummins said.
“We’re vaccinated and we’re good to go,” said Purdue season ticket holder David Johnson.
Fans are also excited to get out and support businesses in their college town.
“Spend a little money at the concession stands, at the local bars and restaurants,” Johnson said. “It’s great for everyone.”
The excitement, and the hopes for this season, are high in West Lafayette.
”Purdue kicking some butt, going to the Rose Bowl this year,” Cummins said.