On Saturday, Penn State’s football team will host the Ohio State Buckeyes at Beaver Stadium without fans due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The university is providing on-campus students with new and safe ways to watch the game.
Instead of a typical “Whiteout game,” like last year’s against Michigan, Penn State is hosting outdoor watch parties at various sports stadiums for students who live on-campus.
Students can go in pods of one or two people and must stay six feet away from other pods. Freshman Brandt Reitz said the small number of people per group is enough to keep him away.
“I think it’s kind of stupid," Reitz said. "I mean, you could at least raise it to like four or five.”
Reitz watched last weekend’s game against Indiana in the lobby of his dorm with around 15 people. Reitz said he stayed socially distant and masked the whole time.
That’s in contrast to three large gatherings at downtown apartment complexes that were packed with more than 100 unmasked students each. The State College Police Department is investigating those parties and released photos of 60 students it is trying to identify for breaking the borough’s COVID mitigation ordinance.
Freshman Morgan Ferry said she’s “really excited” to go to one of Penn State’s watch parties. She thinks it will give students a safe alternative to going downtown.
“It’s definitely going to help prevent people going to parties and apartments where there’s not social distancing," Ferry said.
The broadcast of Saturday’s game against Ohio State will start at 7:30 p.m.