The Oxford Police Department and the University Police Department plan to maintain regular game day procedures for the season opener against Florida on Saturday.
“We’re going to treat it like we would every other home game weekend, like we have in the past,” Public Information Officer Breck Jones said. “We’re going to work intersections and prepare just like we would before, and then we’ll make adjustments as we see fit going forward.”
The police departments are expecting a population increase to coincide with the 25% stadium capacity rule signed by Gov. Tate Reeves in late August. By this expectation, Saturday will show the arrival of roughly 16,009 fans, rather than the typical 64,038.
Social distancing rules and mask ordinances will continue to be enforced in accordance with Oxford regulations, applying to bars, restaurants and any attempts to tailgate from home.
“As far as home viewing, home gating or whatever people have been calling it, the COVID restrictions for how many people are allowed to gather still apply,” Jones said.
According to the most recent City of Oxford recovery plan, indoor social gatherings are limited to 10 people, and outdoor social gatherings are limited to 25 people.
There will also be no off-campus game day parking, unlike previous seasons.
“There’s not going to be any parking for the games in the city,” Jones said. “Any game day parking is going to be on campus since there’s such a limited capacity.”
UPD will operate as they have in previous seasons with minor tweaks to accommodate for COVID-19 regulations.
“While certain aspects of our planning have changed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, our ultimate goal remains the same – to keep our campus safe,” UPD Chief Ray Hawkins said.
Executive Order 1519 prohibits all gatherings outside the stadium, whether tailgating, picnics or fanfare.