As COVID-19 restrictions continue to loosen — with Oregonians getting vaccinated — Oregon State Athletic Director Scott Barnes is hopeful that Reser Stadium can be full when the Beaver football season starts on Sept. 11, according to The Oregonian’s Nick Daschel.
“We’re planning to go back to a normal year,” Barnes said.
Governor Kate Brown has said before, when at least 70 percent of adults in the state get at least one vaccination shot most restrictions will be lifted, including attendance limits for sporting events.
Despite the goal of being at full capacity, Barnes admits he’s not sure if fans will need to wear masks or not. However, there’s hope that things like tailgating will look more pre-pandemic than during-the-pandemic.
“Less restrictions and more freedom,” Barnes told Daschel. “This will evolve, what it looks like in three months.”
The conversation didn’t stop there. When talking about Beaver football on the field, Barnes says it’s a “realistic expectation” that OSU plays in a bowl game “or more” this year. He also acknowledged the team under Jonathan Smith has been “more competitive”.
Daschel asked one more big question:
What if Oregon State falls short of a bowl game in 2021? Would Barnes wonder if progress is really on track?
“Too many variables to say that,” Barnes said. “That’s a goal, to get to a bowl game. Once you get to the season and you determine all the factors, you determine are we still moving forward. I never want to pigeonhole that to be on track, you have to do this or have to do that. In today’s environment, there are too many variables.”
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