Penn State’s 2021 schedule is full of challenges, including three difficult road trips in conference replay. Penn State draws the short straw in crossover divisional matchups with road games at Wisconsin and Iowa. And this year’s annual division showdown with Ohio State will take place in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio Stadium has rarely been kind to the Nittany Lions since joining the Big Ten. This year’s contest could see Ohio Stadium at full capacity as well.
Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said last week “We’re hopefully going to have an opportunity to be at 100% capacity” last week.
Things around the country continue to be trending in a positive direction as we collectively continue to pull ourselves out of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Center for Disease Control updated the guidelines last week to say fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks with the exception of crowded settings. even if fans have to wear masks in a packed Big Ten stadium, it will be a massive step back toward normalcy after a year with no Big Ten football stadiums having gates open to fans across the conference.
Penn State is naturally in a similar position to Ohio State. Both schools have stadiums with a seating capacity of over 100,000 (Michigan too, of course), and the push to get as many of those seats filled a possible is financially important for these schools, as long as the safety of all attending a game is not at any additional or unnecessary risk.
Pennsylvania is moving back toward seeing stadiums fully opened as well. Seating capacity for indoor and outdoor events has recently been increased, and the Philadelphia Phillies have an outline to return to 100 percent capacity in the coming weeks. Penn State has not mapped out what the plan will be for Beaver Stadium just yet, but we will be getting close to finding out that information as the season is just months away.
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