SEC football: Bands, cheerleaders not allowed on field amid COVID-19 concerns

Adam Sparks
Nashville Tennessean

Bands and cheerleaders won't be allowed on the field for SEC football games this season, the conference office announced Friday.

In its latest gameday protocol amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the SEC will restrict on-field personnel. Bands and spirit squads cannot perform on the field at home games, and they cannot attend road games.

That means traditional pregame team entrances involving the band and halftime performances won't appear this season, pending any policy revisions based on developments around COVID-19. There will also be no on-field presentations or recognition.

The Pride of the Southland Band performs during a game between Tennessee and Georgia in Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tennessee on Saturday, October 5, 2019.

Who can be on the field?

Only essential personnel will be allowed access on the field, including players, coaches and support staff, game officials, medical personnel, limited institutional personnel, law enforcement, a limited number of photographers and contracted radio/TV personnel, and other limited personnel essential to the execution of the game.

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All individuals with access to the team bench area must participate in the SEC's COVID-19 testing protocol.

Who else can attend games?

Most SEC schools plan to allow about 20-25% capacity in their stadiums for home games. Where fans are allowed to attend games, the host school must provide the visiting school a minimum of 500 tickets located in the lower level of the stadium.

Media will also be limited. Press box seating capacity can be no more than 50% capacity, and all individuals must wear a face covering. Post-game press conferences will be conducted virtually.

Reach Adam Sparks at asparks@tennessean.com and on Twitter @AdamSparks.