KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Mizzou Athletics made the “difficult decision” Friday to prohibit on-campus tailgating for football games this fall amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the school announced.
Fans will not be permitted to gather for meals and libations “in all game-day parking lots and campus spaces,” a move the school said was “an effort to ensure the health and well-being of its fans, student-athletes, coaches, officials, staff and students attending 2020 Mizzou home football games.”
The Tigers’ opener against Alabama, which is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Sept. 26 at Memorial Stadium in Columbia and will be televised on ESPN, remains two weeks away.
“This was a difficult decision to make because of the passion Mizzou fans have for game-day tailgating and the backdrop it provides as part of a football Saturday in Columbia,” MU Athletics Director Jim Sterk said in a statement. “However, the health and safety of all our fans remain a top priority as we continue working toward a very different-looking 2020 season.”
The SEC added two conference games and decided to play a conference-only schedule in 2020 amid the pandemic last month.
Missouri also is scheduled to host Vanderbilt for Homecoming on Oct. 17, Kentucky on Oct. 31, Georgia on Nov. 7 and Arkansas on Nov. 28 — a game that was moved from Arrowhead Stadium — this fall.
The guidelines are subject to change, but the school encouraged fans with underlying health conditions “to enjoy Mizzou games on television in the comfort of their homes this season rather than attending in person, even among sparser and social distanced fans.”
The Tigers announced last month that attendance would be capped at 25% of stadium capacity for the 2020 season. Fans will be required to wear masks on campus and in the stadium among other health and safety protocols.
MU Vice Chancellor for Operations Gary Ward said the tailgating prohibition “means no tailgating anywhere -- grassy or landscaped areas, sidewalks, streets, parking lots or parking structures.”
Tickets for 2020 have yet to go on sale as the Mizzou Athletics Ticket Office “is in the final stages of reseating Memorial Stadium,” but it’s unlikely single-game tickets will be available during the 2020 season.