It’s been almost three months since we last saw Virginia Tech sports, and the start of the football season is typically only two months away. At this point school officials and the ACC still expect to have the fall season, whether crowd adjustments are still needed or not. At the start of this week we were given two updates that help make the forthcoming football season more of a reality.
First, Governor Northam announced that Virginia would begin Phase 2 of the reopening process - except for Richmond and Northern Virginia - this Friday. The key changes between the first two phases are:
- Restaurants can have indoor seating at 50 percent capacity
- Gyms can have indoor classes and workouts at 30 percent capacity
- Pools can open with restrictions
- Entertainment venues like museums and zoos can open with restrictions
- Recreational sports will be allowed but there can be no shared equipment
- Gatherings will be limited to 50 people rather than 10
In addition, The Athletic Department announced that they are “preparing this week to open the Beamer-Lawson Practice Facility and the Steve Johnson practice fields for voluntary football strength and conditioning workouts.”
Athletes that opt in will have to go through a screening process and be subject to daily monitoring. All the expected precautions will be taken as students and employees return to campus and begin conducting training. However, these are positive first steps for both the return the sports for the fall semester and the university’s plan to have students return to Blacksburg in the coming months.
At the end of May Virginia Tech announced their reseating plans for the upcoming football season, as well as potential contingency plans if the fan capacity has to be restricted. These might be small steps, but they are important ones, as we inch closer towards the reopening of campus and Hokie football in just over two months.