10 things to know about Baylor Football Gameday in 2020
It’s finally here — game week for Baylor football! When the No. 24-ranked Bears take the field to face Houston this Saturday (11 a.m., FOX), it’s not only a new season kicking off, but a new era — the first game for new head coach Dave Aranda, who has navigated an offseason of uncertainty to prepare his team for the 2020 season.
It’s also a new era in another sense, as COVID-19 has changed much about the way games will be enjoyed this fall. Baylor has made a series of adjustments to promote the health of those on the field and in the stands; here are 10 things to know heading into the 2020 season:
1. McLane Stadium capacity: To allow for social distancing, Baylor will begin the season limiting attendance at McLane to 25% of the stadium’s capacity.
2. Ticket sales: To accommodate that reduced capacity, Baylor Athletics has deferred season tickets to 2021 and given single-game ticket priority to season-ticket holders. A limited number of single-game tickets are available now, including for this Saturday’s game. Ticketing for the games and parking will be completely mobile for the 2020 season.
3. Student tickets: About 2,500 of the 11,250 tickets allocated for each game — more than 1/5th — have been reserved for Baylor students. The student section, too, will be socially distanced, so a waiting queue has been created for students seeking tickets. Students can click here to learn more about their student ticket account and how the process works. Students can also cheer on the Bears at a watch party on Fountain Mall.
4. The Baylor Line: With student attendance scaled down, the Line will also be smaller this fall, allowing for distancing before and during the run and in the stands. Participants for each game will be chosen randomly, with the goal of allowing each freshman to run the Line at least once this year.
5. Social distancing: Baylor has spent the offseason creating spatial changes and protocols throughout the stadium to promote social distancing. In the stands, available seats have been divided into linear sets that must all be purchased by one party.
6. Face coverings: Masks or other face coverings are required this year inside McLane Stadium (and all athletic venues) for everyone over the age of 10, except for temporary removal while eating.
7. Golden Wave Band: Baylor’s Golden Wave Band will be at home games this year, albeit in a more limited capacity. To account for social distancing, 100 band members will be at each game. In accordance with Big 12 safety measures, the band will not perform on the field this year, but BUGWB is working to be able to share halftime performances via the McLane Stadium videoboard.
8. Tailgating: Sadly, but with good reason, McLane Stadium (like many others across the nation) will have no on-site tailgating this fall. It’s a bummer, sure, but it gives us all something to look forward to next season.
9. New pregame show: In lieu of tailgating, fans in Waco and across the world can get ready for kickoff with the new Baylor Alumni Tailgate Show. Broadcast from inside McLane Stadium, this year’s show will feature former Baylor standouts Seth Russell and Elliot Coffey alongside Voice of the Bears John Morris, Brooke Bednarz and Derek Smith. Each broadcast begins two hours before kickoff on KCEN-TV and ESPN Central Texas (1660 am); fans can also watch live on the Baylor Athletics Facebook page.
10. Sic ’em Stand-Ins: If you’ve watched Major League Baseball games this summer, you’ve seen them — cardboard cutouts of fans in the stands. It’s not as good as being there, but it’s nice to have a part of you there at the game; now, Baylor fans can join in the fun with Sic ’em Stand-Ins. A $40 donation gets your picture on a cardboard cutout in McLane Stadium all season, and supports Baylor Athletics as well!
Thankfully, many things this fall will still be familiar. We’ll again be able to spend our Saturdays cheering on the green and gold. Our Bears are again expected to put a good team on the field, receiving votes in both the preseason AP and coaches’ polls (moving up to No. 24 in this week’s coaches poll). And fans unable to attend the games will still likely be able to watch every game from home, thanks to the Big 12’s national TV contracts.
Whether you’re cheering on the Bears in-person or from afar, the new Baylor Gameday website has something for you. We’re excited to share fall Saturdays with the Baylor Family once again as the Bears look to build a strong foundation for a new era on the gridiron.
Sic ’em, Bears!