After a ton of controversy, the Big Ten is bringing football back to the fall. But there are going to be some big changes to the gameday experience – or lack thereof.
According to Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel, Big Ten football games will be played on campus, but with no fans. However, families will be allowed to attend. Wetzel noted that the stadium situation could change as the season goes on.
Nevertheless, it’s clear that stadiums won’t be anywhere near capacity for the eight or nine games teams play this fall. That could virtually erase the home field advantage many teams get from crowd noise.
Michigan, Penn State and Ohio State in particular thrive on the boost they get from their massive stadiums. Michigan Stadium, Beaver Stadium and Ohio Stadium are the third-, fourth- and fifth-highest capacity stadiums in the world respectively.
Per B1G-sources, as of now, games will be played on campus with no fans (other than families). That situation could change. Rapid testing should make 8 games in 8 weeks doable. Title game 12/19.
— Dan Wetzel (@DanWetzel) September 16, 2020
It isn’t just those three teams that feed off their 100,000-plus fans. Every Big Ten team has stadium capacity of at least 47,000, and all but Northwestern can seat at least 50,000.
Huge crowds like that have helped even some of the weaker Big Ten teams pull of major upsets over the decades.
It will be interesting to see how teams perform in 2020 with no crowds behind their defense.
What kind of an impact do you think the lack of fans in attendance will have on the field this fall?