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USC won’t let more fans in this spring, despite McMaster’s relaxed COVID restrictions

Greg Hadley
·2 min read

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster may have relaxed some restrictions preventing venues from hosting large crowds, but the University of South Carolina athletics department doesn’t plan on letting more fans into spring sporting events, it announced Tuesday.

McMaster announced last Friday that he was lifting an order that prohibited events from having more than 250 people in attendance unless the Department of Commerce granted an exception — USC received exceptions to host fans at Williams-Brice Stadium, Colonial Life Arena and other venues this winter and fall, generally at 25% of the venues’ typical capacities.

At the same time, McMaster and the Department of Health and Environmental Control continue to recommend that venues limit capacity to less than 50% or fewer than 250 people.

“The Athletics Department’s current safety measures are in line with the recommendations of the Governor, and consequently, we do not anticipate any changes for the remainder of the spring season,” USC’s statement read.

That means Founders Park, where the Gamecocks baseball team plays, will continue to let in no more than 2,100 fans per game. Beckham Field, where USC’s softball team plays, is limited to 400 fans, and Stone Stadium, where South Carolina’s soccer teams play, will stay with a limit of 650 fans.

South Carolina’s announcement comes one day after the department released its “Welcome Home” marketing campaign, reducing the cost of season tickets for football and saying it was hopeful to return to full capacity at Williams-Brice Stadium in the fall.

DHEC has said it anticipates it will be summer before enough of South Carolina’s population is vaccinated and safety and health protocols can be lifted. DHEC also estimated that Phase 2 of its vaccination campaign, when every resident who wants one will be able to get one, will begin approximately May 3, 2021.