Xavier’s attendance policy for the start of the season was announced today. With the state of Ohio limiting fans in areas the size of Cintas to 300 people there was not much room for Xavier to make individual adjustments, and they didn’t. 300 is the maximum attendance for a Xavier basketball game to start the season. That’s essentially taking part of the student section and spreading it across the entire building.
Well, not the entire building. Courtside is off limits as, indeed, are the entirety of the first six rows. Every block of two to four seats per party (no larger groups allowed to sit together) will be separated from every other group by at least six feet at all times. These distancing measures will also take place at all gathering areas like concessions, bathrooms, and entrances. Masks are mandated at all times while inside the building.
The Musketeers remain hopeful this will be a temporary limitation. According to Athletic Director Greg Christopher, “We have been working diligently with our campus, as well as local and state governments on a variance request that would increase our attendance to around 20% capacity, or roughly 2,000 fans. We are confident that we can successfully execute an event of that size while keeping everyone on the floor and in the stands safe.” Xavier’s Assistant AD for External Relations, Brian Hicks, added. “We remain hopeful that after showing that we can safely operate with a small crowd, that we will be given the opportunity to increase capacity later in the season to allow more fans to enjoy the Xavier Basketball that they know and love in person. The compliance of everyone in attendance from the beginning will be critical to that.”
For now, it’s 300 masked up people spread across what will feel like a cavernous space. Just like some basketball is better than no basketball, some fans are better than no fans. Avoid big groups, keep your masks on, and let’s get back to a packed home venue as soon as we can.