Virginia Tech Football won’t host traditional spring game

Virginia Tech running back Steven Peoples (32) looks to run up field in the first quarter of an...
Virginia Tech running back Steven Peoples (32) looks to run up field in the first quarter of an NCAA college football game against Boston College in Blacksburg Va., Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018. (Matt Gentry/The Roanoke Times via AP)(WDBJ)
Published: Mar. 23, 2021 at 1:43 PM EDT
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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - Virginia Tech Athletics announced Tuesday it would not host its traditional spring football game due to COVID-19 precautions.

Director of Athletics Whit Babcock said it was determined they would not be able to provide their traditional fan experience while following local and state guidelines, and that it would not be in the best interest of the Blacksburg and Virginia Tech communities.

“Regrettably, given the current restrictions in place and out of concern for the health and well-being of our community, our student-athletes and our fans, we have made the decision to not have a spring football game,” Babcock said. “We realize this is disappointing for many and certainly for our football team, but we believe that it is the proper decision for the Virginia Tech community and the town of Blacksburg. Additionally, we did not want to provide our fans with an experience which would be far less than they are accustomed to at Lane Stadium, including no tailgating. We certainly hope and expect this fall that they can enjoy our full gameday environment with Hokie Village, the Hokie Walk, the Marching Virginians, the Corps of Cadets, the VT Spirit Squads, tailgating and more.

“The final element of conducting a spring game that proved problematic was determining an equitable way to allocate the very limited amount of tickets we would have been permitted to issue,” Babcock concluded. “With the limit at 1,000, it would have been limited to guests of student-athletes and would not have provided an opportunity for many fans to come to Lane Stadium anyway. Even if the appropriate officials and agencies were to move to a increased attendance protocol in the near term, it’s just too soon to jump back into it. I wish we could and we will soon; when it’s appropriate. We will be offering our fans enhanced, behind-the-scenes features from spring football practices and our creative team will deliver exclusive interviews and other special features to our donors and fans throughout spring ball.”

Officials at Virginia Tech are hopeful that restrictions in Virginia will ease enough to allow more fans into Lane Stadium for the 2021 fall season.

“Lane Stadium was not the same without Hokie Nation last year,” said head coach Justin Fuente. “Our coaches and student-athletes are working hard to be ready for the start of the 2021 season and are excited to have spring practice again. We cannot wait to have our fans jumping in Lane Stadium this fall and I am looking forward to running out of our tunnel with ‘Enter Sandman’ playing. Our entire team is looking forward to seeing and hearing our fans in full force this season.”

Enhancements are taking place at Lane Stadium in preparation for the fall football season. This includes installing more than 200 hand sanitizing stations, creating contactless concession options, preparing for socially distanced seating, if necessary, and more.

Virginia Tech is scheduled to host seven games in the upcoming season, beginning with a conference class against North Carolina on either Thursday, Sept. 2 or Friday, Sept. 3.

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