The COVID-19 pandemic has taken so much from all of us. Many of our lives have been upended, and we grieve with those members of the community who have been personally affected by the virus.
During times such as these, it is often the so-called “normal” activities that can help us stay centered and focus. I share the excitement of many of you that one of those activities, Spartan football, returns Oct. 24 with a home game vs. Rutgers. However, we must embrace that excitement and the return of Big Ten football responsibly.
First, we have made it clear that there will be no distribution of tickets to the public and no fans in the suites. Players and coaches will be allowed a limited number of tickets for friends, family or loved ones.
Also, tailgating will not be permitted on campus. All parking lots on campus will be closed, except for those used by football personnel, and therefore no open alcohol will be allowed on campus. MSU Police and parking personnel will be monitoring campus spaces and parking lots.
Instead, we encourage all Spartan fans to watch the upcoming football season from home in a safe manner. Do not gather in crowds or host large watch parties. The gathering of fans, indoors or outdoors, only gives the COVID-19 virus the chance to spread.
We will continue to work with our partners at the Ingham County Health Department and the city of East Lansing to protect the safety and well-being of our surrounding community and hold accountable those who disregard public health directives.
I know many of you are looking forward to the return of Big Ten football, and I have faith that you’ll be responsible on game days to be safe. I’d like to thank coaches Tom Izzo and Mel Tucker for making this video to remind us all we are on the same team in beating this pandemic. Like many of you, I will be watching excitedly from home as Coach Tucker begins a new chapter of Spartan football on Oct. 24. Let’s all do our part to ensure we can continue to cheer on the team safely and responsibly.
Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D.