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Michigan State to allow limited number of spectators at spring game

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Syndication: Detroit Free Press Junfu Han via Imagn Content Services, LLC

For the first time in the Mel Tucker era, fans will be permitted into Spartan Stadium. Michigan State announced today that it will allow roughly 6,000 fans (in addition to the marching band, dance team and cheer team) to watch the spring game on Saturday, April 24 at 2 p.m. The game will also be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network.

According to MSU Athletics’ news release, the spring game will be a “10-15 period practice featuring individual and group drills as well as live scrimmage periods.”

“We are excited to be able to welcome a limited number of fans, including for the first time all year, the general public, to Spartan Stadium,” Michigan State athletic director Bill Beekman said in a statement. “There’s a buzz building around the Spartan football program and I know our student-athletes and coaches will love to have fans in attendance, with many more tuning in on television and radio. I’d also like to thank our staff who has worked diligently to put together a plan that complies with all of the MDHHS requirements to make this event accessible to our fans.”

Tickets will be be distributed digitally, with Spartan Fund members in the top three donor levels getting first priority beginning on Tuesday, April 20, and those individuals can claim up to four tickets each. Tickets then open up to the general public on the morning of Wednesday, April 21 at 8 a.m. on msuspartans.com, with the opportunity to secure up to four tickets each. Michigan State will also release 500 tickets to students only.

Spectators have to wear face coverings/masks, as well as complete a mandatory online health screening that will be sent to them 24 hours prior to the event. Each person must show the completed health screening form to stadium personnel before being permitted into Spartan Stadium. Spectators also will be required to pass a symptom checklist.

Only the lower bowl of Spartan Stadium will have seating available, and of that, only about 11 percent of the total lower bowl capacity (54,566) will be utilized. The lower bowl will be divided into five different sections and fans will be given color-coded wristbands to sit in assigned seating areas throughout the stadium.

Overall, Michigan State is allowing just eight percent of its roughly 75,000-seat capacity in Spartan Stadium — well under the Michigan Department of Health and Human Service’s 20 percent capacity limit. Also per MDHSS protocols, groups of spectators can be no more than six people, and each group must have at least six feet of physical distance between them and the next cohort.

“We’re looking forward to having our Spartan fans watch us live in Spartan Stadium,” Michigan State head coach Mel Tucker said. “Our fans are hungry for football. We want to engage our fans and we understand that they are a vital part of our program. It’s a positive first step in connecting with our community and giving them a chance to see what our program is all about. To be able to take the field with the band playing ‘Victory for MSU’ and fans cheering will be a great way to complete spring practice.”

Parking options and stadium entry: Lots open at noon, and lots 79, 62, 126 and 63 on campus will provide free parking. Lot 124 will also be available for accessible parking. Tailgating is not permitted and will be “strictly monitored.” Fans will be allowed to enter the stadium beginning at 12:30 p.m. on the day of the event at gates B, C, J and K.