The new Hancock Whitney Stadium at University of South Alabama can hold more than 25,000 fans. However, fewer than 10,000 could be allowed inside to attend football games this fall.
USA’s football team will break in their new turf on campus September 26 against the University of Alabama at Birmingham in a bubble.
The university is considering limiting the number of people who can attend the games this fall, reducing full capacity to as low as 25%.
USA Athletic Director Joel Erdmann expects to see a loss somewhere around $2 million in revenue this season.
“The ticket revenue, the walk-up sales revenue, and the parking revenue really starts to decrease,” Erdmann.
Some of South’s biggest games have either been canceled or will be limited in attendance because of coronavirus.
“The game against Grambling would have been a sellout. The game against UAB would have been a sellout. The same against Troy would have been a sellout,” Erdmann said.
Many restaurants and hotels near South were banking that this new stadium would help usher people into their businesses this fall. Since there won’t be big crowds, visiting fans, and tailgating this season, businesses are concerned.
“It’s going to limit exposure. It’s going to limit pedestrian and vehicle traffic. The end of that tunnel, we will get to the other side of this. When we do get to the other side of this, then the capabilities of Hancock Whitney Stadium will be on full display to everyone,” Erdmann said.