Today, the University of Florida announced its plans for in-person academic and athletic participation on campus following an update released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
A return to The Swamp at full capacity is expected this fall as the release states that beginning June 28 it will transition to normal operations regarding athletics. That is the plan as of right now.
"We will also resume full in-person participation in athletic and other activities on our campuses, including fan participation in stadiums and arenas," UF stated in its release today.
The release also states that mask guidelines on campus will be impacted, effective immediately.
Masks will now be optional rather than required for students, faculty, staff and guests on UF proper and in UF facilities. The release does state, however, that those who are not fully vaccinated for COVID-19 are still recommended to continue wearing masks.
Albert still ongoing, prior to vaccinations being allocated, the coronavirus had a major impact on all athletics last spring and fall, including the Florida Gators football team.
While Ben Hill Griffin Stadium has a full capacity of 88, 548 (though, it has reached 90,000 multiple times), the program was forced to cut the capacity to just ~20% during the fall, leaving just 17,000 fans able to participate in games in person.
The Gators played last season at a disadvantage, as did the rest of the SEC. Following the team's Week 3 loss against Texas A&M, Gators head coach Dan Mullen expressed his frustrations following the contest, stating that the University ought to allow the program to "pack The Swamp."
"I know our governor passed that rule so certainly, hopefully, the university administration decides to let us pack The Swamp ... Hundred percent, because that crowd was a major factor in the game, and so, I certainly hope our university administration follows the governor," Mullen said in October.
"Our governor has passed a rule that we're allowed to pack the Swamp. We have 90,000 in The Swamp to give us that home-field advantage that Texas A&M had today"
Now, Mullen and the rest of Gator nation will get their wish with the return to full capacity and the return of The Swamp.