Here's your Illinois FCS spring home game policy primer

Here's your Illinois FCS spring home game policy primer

This weekend Eastern, Illinois State, Southern and Western are all scheduled to play home games for the only time on the same weekend in the FCS spring season. Here’s our Prairie State Pigskin look at each school’s policies.

All information was provided by each respective university.

EIU (O’Brien Field in Charleston)

(Jay Grabiec photo)

(Jay Grabiec photo)


Under State of Illinois COVID-19 guidelines, O’Brien Field may have a capacity of 20 percent.  This season no walk-up game day tickets will be sold at the gate.  The only tickets distributed this season will be to EIU students, Player Pass List, Corporate Sponsor Tickets and Season Tickets. Tickets will be spaced in a socially distant manner in pods.  A limited number of season tickets are still available by calling the EIU ticket office at 217-581-2106.   Tickets for this season will be distributed in an electronic form and may be scanned via your smart phone at the gate or if you print off a digital ticket to be scanned.   A reduced capacity of visitor tickets will be issued to each opponent for their game week and will be distributed through that school’s athletic ticket office. 

Student Tickets

Student tickets will be available for Eastern Illinois students that have paid their fees for the current semester.  Information on how to register for student tickets will be provided directly to EIU students each week through their campus email address.


Parking lots for this year will open one hour prior to kickoff.  The West O’Brien Lot will be reserved for Panther Club members at the $250 and above level can corporate sponsors. General parking for this season will be in the J-Lot and North Lantz Arena lots.  No parking will be allowed on the South Side of Lantz Arena.  Panther Club parking passes will be distributed digitally and can be shown to the lot attendant at the game. Lots will open 60 minutes prior to kickoff for each home game this year.

Gates Opening & Entrances

Gates will open 60 minutes prior to kickoff for each home game this year.  EIU player pass list will open 60 minutes prior to kickoff at Gate 3.   Entry into the stadium will take place at Gates 1 & 4 on the West side of O’Brien Field.   Visitor gates will open 60 minutes prior to kickoff on the East side of O’Brien Field.  When exiting the venue, fans will be asked to use gates 2 & 3.   This season due to COVID-19 restrictions, EIU will have a no-reentry policy.


Under State of Illinois COVID-19 guidelines, tailgating is not allowed prior to EIU home football games this season.

Masks & Social Distancing

Under State of Illinois COVID-19 guides, all patrons must wear a mask when entering and moving around O’Brien Field.   All seating in the venue is set for social distancing with pods of seating.  Unavailable seats will be marked and fans are asked to follow all mask and socially distance seating regulations.


Concessions will be available during the 2021 season with the South Concession stand open during games. 

ISU (Hancock Stadium in Normal)

(photo courtesy of Illinois State University)

(photo courtesy of Illinois State University)

Facility capacity will be limited to 20 percent in compliance with Outside Seated Spectator Events guidelines issued by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Development under Phase 4 of Restore Illinois. Increased safety measures will include physically-distanced reserved seating in the East and West stands. Fans will be required to wear a face covering while inside Hancock Stadium and will only be permitted to remove their masks when eating or drinking in designated locations. Any patrons exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms are asked to refrain from coming to the game.

•    Current season ticket holders in good standing will be contacted by members of the ISU Athletics.
•    Season ticket holders will be re-seated according to the number of tickets in the account in pods of no more than four.
•    Tickets will be sent via mobile delivery approximately 48 hours before each game. We will send parking passes via email and you will be able to bring the PDF to the lot.
•    300 Illinois State student tickets will be available each game week. Red Alert members will have priority access to claim one ticket per student online on a first-come, first-served basis starting Monday morning at 9 a.m. of each game week and running through Friday morning. If tickets remain after the Red Alert priority deadline, all other ISU students will be eligible to purchase a ticket (1 per student) for $5 starting Friday at 9 a.m.
•    Current Hancock Stadium event protocols will be distributed to all fans who will be attending games.

•    Everyone who purchases a ticket will receive a parking pass. 
•    Parking for season-ticket holders will be reserved in lots G-73 and G-83 adjacent to the stadium. Ticket holders will be supplied with a pass when buying their tickets and those will be delivered via mobile as well.
•    There is NO TAILGATING allowed in the parking lots this spring, as per Restore Illinois guidelines.
•    Lots will open 1 hour prior to kickoff. 

•    The doors will open 1 hour in advance of kickoff and gates 1, 4, and 8 will be available for entry. The department’s Clear Bag Policy will still be in effect.
•    Masks/face coverings will be required when inside the facility, except while eating or drinking in designated locations.
•    Limited concessions, restrooms, and first aid will all be available for patrons attending the games.
•    Concourses and restrooms will have hand sanitizing stations available for patrons to use.
•    Club and Suite ticket holders will be contacted separately regarding protocols for those areas.

SIU (Saluki Stadium in Carbondale)

(photo courtesy of SIU)

(photo courtesy of SIU)

Seating capacity for the games will be limited to approximately 15 percent, based upon a plan approved by the campus Emergency Operations Center and with guidance from the state of Illinois and Jackson County Health Department.

Safety measures will include socially-distanced, assigned seating. Tailgating will not be permitted, and fans will be required to wear a mask or facial covering inside the stadium. It can be removed while eating or drinking. Hand sanitizing stations will be available throughout the stadium. Gates will open one hour before kickoff, and Saluki Athletics is instituting a clear bag policy for home games.

* Revised four-game home schedule TBA.
* 15% stadium capacity to include season-ticket holders, students and player families.
* All season-ticket holders as of Jan. 22 at 5 p.m. will receive tickets to the game.
* Season-ticket holders will be re-seated, according to the number of tickets in each account, to accommodate social distancing.
* Tickets will be Print-At-Home and loaded into paid accounts.
* Approximately 500 tickets will be available to students at the Banterra Center ticket office from Monday-Wednesday (9 AM-4:30 PM) during the week of the game. A valid student ID is required to claim a ticket. One ticket per student.

* Lot S reserved parking passes will be emailed to account holders to Print-At-Home.
* Lots U and C will be open parking.
* Lots open 90 minutes before kickoff.

* No tailgating
* Gates open 60 minutes before kickoff.
* Masks or facial coverings are required, except while eating/drinking.
* Stadium amenities (concessions, restrooms, first aid) will be available.
* Hand-sanitizing stations will be available throughout the stadium.

* The north end zone berm will be closed to fans.
* The Stadium Club will be closed.
* Suite holders will be contacted directly regarding suite policies.

WIU (Hanson Field in Macomb)

(photo courtesy of WIU)

(photo courtesy of WIU)

After thorough discussion and consultation with university leaders, Western Illinois Athletics made the decision to decrease seating at all outdoor events this spring; the change limits entry to family members of student-athletes and staff. 

Student-athletes will be permitted to have only their families in attendance, admitted via the player pass list. 

Leatherneck football season ticket holders who previously purchased tickets in the fall will have three options.

Option 1: Transfer season tickets to the fall 2021 season 

Option 2: Transfer payment to the Leatherneck Club as a tax-deductible donation 

Option 3: Receive a full refund

Athletic staff will be in contact with all who renewed for the 2020 season. 

WIU Athletics will continue to monitor the attendance policy throughout the spring. Updates will be provided on 

Per current state and local guidelines, tailgating will not be permitted at any athletic event.

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