Butler announces change in fan capacity at basketball games

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Butler Bulldogs mascot Butler Blue III chews on a bone prior to the start of the game against the Creighton Bluejays at Hinkle Fieldhouse on January 4, 2020 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

UPDATE:

Butler University announced Monday that capacity for its first men’s basketball game will be reduced from 25% (2,275 fans) to 15% (1,500 fans).

“As the first game of the season approaches, we decided that this is a prudent step to take,” said Butler Vice President and Director of Athletics Barry Collier. “Capping our fan capacity at roughly 15 percent for the season opener takes into account the trending COVID-19 numbers that we are seeing locally. We remain confident in our risk mitigation tactics we have in place and are ready to implement them beginning Wednesday night.”

Butler opens its season Wednesday by hosting Western Michigan.

The university says it will consider allowing 2,000 fans Sunday vs Eastern Illinois.

“Following discussions over the weekend, the Marion County Department of Health continues to support the comprehensive health and safety plan Butler is implementing for a limited capacity of fans,” Butler said in a release. “Butler is committed to working with local officials and adjusting the plan if needed as new information or directives develop.”

ORIGINAL STORY:

INDIANAPOLIS — Butler University announced Sunday that the Marion County Department of Health has approved a fan capacity of 25% for Butler games at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

Butler’s men’s basketball home opener is scheduled for November 25.

The university says the reduced capacity accommodates physical distancing, and additional safety protocols include the requirement of face coverings, temperature checks, utilizing specific entrances and exits to limit congestion, and changes to our hospitality and concession procedures.

“While fans attending must accept some inherent risk, Butler is confident that we have developed a comprehensive plan that will be effective in mitigating the risk of spreading COVID-19,” Butler said in a release.

Butler says they will not be offering season tickets for the 2020-21 season. Tickets will be made available in blocks, consisting of two to four games each, first to those who were season ticket holders last season or had already placed a deposit for this season. The Butler Athletics Ticket Office will communicate directly with such fans.

Any remaining inventory will be made available to the general public.

“Throughout the season, we will make adjustments to our plans as new information and directives develop,” said Butler. “We appreciate your continued support and look forward to welcoming you to Hinkle Fieldhouse to support YOUR Butler Bulldogs in the best venue in all of college basketball.”

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