OwlSports Update Staff Reporter
Sports venues across the City of Philadelphia have been empty for months, collecting dust instead of ticket stubs. But following the state’s approval allowing for venues to open its gates, the City of Philadelphia announced on Tuesday that Lincoln Financial Field is now open for business as well.
Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley announced that the city will follow Governor Wolf’s newest restrictions. These guidelines allow for up to 7,500 fans at the Linc, which includes players, coaches, stadium staff and media members. Masks will be required and seats will be sectioned off to maintain proper social distancing.
Saturday’s game against USF will provide a test run for the Owls. Temple is giving free tickets to the families of the players and coaches, and if all goes well, the stadium will open up to the public for the rest of the season. The plan is to offer a three-game season pass for the rest of the Owls’ home games this year. Student tickets will be limited but available to those with school identification.
Temple players were grateful to hear the news, especially offensive lineman Joseph Hooper, who hails from Kea'au, Hawaii. His parents still live on the island and have only seen him play one time at Temple.
"I’m excited,” said the senior linebacker. “Them being in Hawaii of course it’s hard and I would like them to be here.”
Quarterback Anthony Russo echoed the excitement of his teammate, saying on Tuesday, “It’s huge for us, we kind of thrive off the energy they bring. I know anytime we hear the fight song going and the fans cheering and dancing along. It gives me goosebumps right now just thinking about it.”
Last season, Temple averaged almost 30,000 fans per game. This cap of 7,500 will allow for fan engagement, but even in a best-case 2020 scenario, it will leave many fans watching Temple home games from their own home.