Army Football Season to Commence with COVID Restrictions

By West Point Public Affairs - September 4, 2020

RELEASE NO: 12-20

WEST POINT, N.Y. – The U.S. Military Academy’s Black Knights will play an amended 12-game 2020 season with changes due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Since the team returned to the academy June 1, players underwent controlled monitoring for two weeks and no one has tested positive since arrival. All plans, workouts, and practices have been nested with Public Health, National Collegiate Athletic Association, state and local COVID guidelines.

“The health and welfare of the Corps of Cadets and our players is the number one priority and senior leadership continues to ensure that West Point is prepared and ready to train and operate in a COVID-19 environment,” said Lt. Col. Chris Ophardt, director of communications. “We are taking prudent measures to limit COVID-19’s spread, and all cadets will be tested, and protocols are in place to safely play the season.”

Fan attendance for the first two games of the season will be limited to only the Corps of Cadets. All decisions on fan attendance at future home games will be determined at a later date.  For updated ticket information, go to https://www.armygameday.com/.

No visitors will be allowed to post on gameday.  No tailgating or other large gatherings will be allowed. Nonpharmaceutical interventions and cleaning protocols have been put into place across the academy to limit COVID-19’s spread.  

All game day staff will be screened prior to entering the stadium. Screening includes a self-assessment (wellness check), temperature check, and secondary screening if necessary. Thermal imaging at each staff and fan gate (temperatures) use of mask and social distance will be enforced in the stadium.  Personal protective equipment will be used throughout the stadium. Mobile ticketing, contactless ticket taking and use of virtual press box instead of printed game notes and media materials. Additional hand sanitizing stations were placed throughout the venue and custodial efforts around the facility, including high touch areas.

Visiting teams have coordination requirements with the academy starting 14-days prior to the competition.  Those requirements include health screening, restriction of movement, testing, and non-pharmaceutical interventions.  The U.S. Military Academy is facilitating the arrival, transportation and housing of all opposing teams and limiting their ability to interact with any local community in New York.

The Black Knights will host Middle Tennessee State in their season opener on Sept. 5 followed by Louisiana-Monroe (Sept. 12), BYU (Sept. 19), Abilene Christian (Oct. 3), The Citadel (Oct. 10), Mercer (Oct. 24), Air Force (Nov. 7) and Georgia Southern (Nov. 21) at West Point.

Game times and television selections for each game can be found here https://goarmywestpoint.com/sports/football/schedule/2020

The BYU (Sept. 19), game is set for 3:30 p.m. and will be televised on the CBS television network.

The 2020 season will be capped off in Philadelphia as the Black Knights take on Navy in the 121st iteration of the famed rivalry game on Dec. 12 at Lincoln Financial Field. 

For updates on academy operations, restrictions or cancellations, go to www.westpoint.edu/coronavirus.

About West Point 

The U. S. Military Academy at West Point is a four-year, co-educational, federal, liberal arts college located 50 miles north of New York City. It was founded in 1802 as America's first college of engineering and continues today as the world’s premier leader-development institution, consistently ranked among top colleges in the country. Its mission remains constant—to educate, train, and inspire the Corps of Cadets so that each graduate is a commissioned leader of character committed to the values of Duty, Honor, Country and prepared for a career of professional excellence and service to the nation as an officer in the U. S. Army. For more information, go to www.westpoint.edu

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