Pitt athletics announced on Thursday morning that fan attendance will be limited at all on-campus spring sporting events for the remainder of the 2021 season.
With Pitt’s Oakland campus having just implemented a shelter-in-place recommendation and moved to the Elevated Risk posture, a heightened phase of COVID-19 precautions that follows a recent spike in positive cases on campus, spring sports will continue to limit attendance at home games.
“Attendance for Pitt spring athletic events will be limited to student-athlete and staff families and select guests for the balance of the season,” a Tweet from Pitt Athletics said. “Pitt Athletics looks forward to the hopeful resumption of traditional operations and fan accommodations in the fall.”
Capacity for each baseball, softball, soccer, swimming and diving and volleyball event has been determined on a per-game basis. Different venues have allowed different numbers of fans, with some sports like soccer allowing as many as 100 spectators, while softball only hosts 14.
Most fans have been forced to watch these events from home, but some have found creative ways to circumvent the rules. No. 24 Pitt baseball has limited home attendance to 55, but spectators have found ways to sneak a view from outside the stadium.
Groups as large as 25 gathered along the fence separating in and out of play in right field at Charles L. Cost Field as well as in an overlooking parking lot to watch the nationally-ranked Panthers take on Bucknell and Virginia Tech in their first home contests of the season last week.
The statement makes sure to specify that it is on-campus venues that are encompassed in this decision, leaving open the possibility that Pitt football’s spring game at Heinz Field on April 17 could still feature fans in the stands. Head coach Pat Narduzzi said after a week of spring practices that he was “hoping and praying that we’re able to have fans” in seats for the game.
No announcement about the status of fan attendance at the spring game has been made yet.