WEST LAFAYETTE — The Purdue Athletic Department may have a dilemma on its hands.
Last week, Purdue President Mitch Daniels testified before a U.S. Senate committee looking at how colleges plan to deal with COVID-19 concerns when campuses reopen for the fall semester.
When it comes to football at Purdue's Ross Ade-Stadium, Daniels told the committee the school is looking at a scenario in which capacity would be limited to 15,000 in a stadium that can seat 57,000.
Thursday, the Purdue Athletic Department said 26,000 football season tickets had been sold for 2020. That's a lot more than 15,000. Purdue is looking at its options. "As our student-athletes return to campus this week and begin preparing for the fall season, we are actively engaged in planning appropriate strategies to provide the safest possible environment for attendance at our athletic events," said Athletic Director Mike Bobinski.
Daniels' 15,000 capacity figure could be adjusted up or down as conditions evolve over the next few months.
"We have seen tremendous season ticket growth over the last three seasons and are working hard to provide opportunities for them to cheer on their Boilermakers from the stands. While many questions are yet to be answered, our commitment to accommodate as many season ticket holders and students as possible in a safe and responsible manner in Ross-Ade will remain a priority," Bobinski said.
For now, Purdue will only sell mini ticket plans and single game football tickets, until stadium capacity is finalized.
Basketball poses a greater challenge. During the Senate committee hearing, President Daniels said he couldn't see a way to allow fans inside Mackey Arena, as long as COVID-19 remains a threat.