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Big Ten allows attendance at sporting events, clearing way for fans at Maryland spring football

Maryland head coach Mike Locksley looks on during the team's 2021 spring football practice.
Maryland head coach Mike Locksley looks on during the team's 2021 spring football practice. (Maryland Athletics)

The Big Ten Conference on Wednesday announced it will allow attendance for all remaining 2020-21 regular-season competition and spring football events, so long as local health guidelines permit, clearing the way for fans to watch Maryland’s spring football practice, which opened Tuesday.

In a news release, the conference said that the change is effective immediately. A limited number of fans were admitted for the conference’s men’s and women’s basketball tournaments in Indianapolis.

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“The goal is to transition from a conference-wide approach to local decision-making in consultation with public health departments and university medical experts,” the release said.

Mirroring Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s most recent easing of coronavirus restrictions, Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks is permitting spectators at college and professional sporting events at up to 50% of the venue’s maximum capacity. Tailgating is prohibited.

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Maryland’s spring football schedule, which includes 15 practices and culminates with the Red-White Spring Game on Saturday, April 24, is currently closed to fans and media. The Terps on Tuesday opened sales for season tickets. Fans were not permitted at Maryland Stadium last season as part of coronavirus restrictions implemented by the Big Ten and Prince George’s County.

The University of Maryland has recently allowed a limited number of family members to attend sporting events, including men’s and women’s lacrosse games.

“Maryland Athletics is committed to providing a safe and enjoyable experience for all fans attending events on our campus,” the athletic department wrote on its website. “We encourage current football season ticket holders to renew their seats before the April 30 deadline and any interested new season ticket holder to purchase today.

“Should capacity limitations be in effect for the fall of 2021, football season ticket holders and Terrapin Club members will receive priority for seat allocation. If there are attendance restrictions, we will communicate directly with season ticket holders on any possible adjustments to their original seat locations.”

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