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Football Fans, Police Ready for Strange Season to Begin in State College

by on October 23, 2020 4:02 PM

By Caitlyn Frolo | Centre County Report

With COVID-19 restrictions in effect in State College, the days of daylong football watch parties, packed sports bars and tailgates may be gone, at least for this year.

But Penn State students know some will push the boundaries.

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"This going to be obviously the first time where everyone is really going to try to get together and everyone is going to try to do something, so I think it's definitely something we should look out for," said student Katerina Balukas.

For those thinking of breaking the rules, someone will be watching. State College police are used to party complaints during football games with an average of nine warnings issued for noisy parties per game during the 2019 season.

Now with capacity limits and large gatherings restricted, police have issued 76 citations this fall for violations of the borough's temporary COVID-19 ordinance.

"This weekend [Penn State's game against Indiana] is away. We actually have extra officers working just to prepare for the start of a football season, so it's going to be treated kind of like a home game for us manpower-wise," State College police Lt. Greg Brauser said.

While home games are the biggest concern, Brauser said he believes without tens of thousands of people traveling to State College for game days it will be easier to keep things under control.

The tailgating fields outside Beaver Stadium were where family and friends would celebrate Penn State football each home game Saturday during a normal season. But for the 2020 season the lots and fields will be closed to the public.

Penn State police will patrol the campus and tailgate lots on Saturdays to ensure no large gatherings are taking place. 

The Centre County Report is produced by students and faculty from Penn State's College of Communications. It is designed to serve a dual purpose. It is a source of news and information to the residents of Centre County.
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