Fan Attendance Issue Could Help Vanderbilt Football
Before anyone assumes this is a shot at Vanderbilt football or head coach Derek Mason, let me assure you it is anything but a shot at anyone or anything. That's not my style.
What this is is simply an acknowledgment of the current situation of fan attendance at Vanderbilt Stadium and how that might be a benefit to the Commodores.
Programs such as Ohio State, Michigan, Alabama, and Georgia, among others, must plan for the possibility of fewer fans and how to meet potential safety guidelines that might prove necessary if fans are even allowed to attend at all. Fan attendance for the Commodores won't take as much planning. It also won't have a dramatic impact on the number of Commodore fans in attendance at home games.
What it will impact is the ability to visiting fans, such as Georgia and LSU, last season or Tennessee in 2020 from packing the stadium with their fans and making it a home contest for their teams.
The attendance situation at Vanderbilt is a concern for administration and fans as both want their home stadium full of black & gold faithful. Still, the reality at the moment is that it's not happening and isn't likely to improve in 2020.
How to go about filling the stadium on Saturday's is something new athletic director Candice Storey-Lee and her staff will be looking into soon. Hopefully, there will be some solutions sooner than later. Still, it is doubtful anything can be done before September considering last seasons on-field record and the concerns surrounding the coronavirus that will almost certainly keep some diehards away this season.
One thing is sure, should Lee and her fellow SEC athletics directors decide to close stadiums to fans or restrict the number of attendees, it won't have nearly the impact on the Commodores as other teams who are accustomed to playing to packed houses at home, and thousands of their fans with them on the road.
Attendance is undoubtedly an issue, but for one season, it could work for Vanderbilt.