Indianapolis' soccer team, The Indy Eleven are playing a portion of their season this year, and despite being the first sports team with spectators, they're handling health and safety like seasoned professionals. With ten regular season home games scheduled to take place at Lucas Oil stadium, leading up to the United Soccer League Championship Playoffs, Indy Eleven will kicked off this season on July 11, with a 2-0 win against St. Louis FC.
Protection for Indy Eleven players, fans and stadium personnel is top of mind, with health and safety measures beginning in the parking lot. And though the season may look a little different this year, the excitement of the games will still wow fans as they reenter Lucas Oil Stadium.
During the 2020 season, tailgating will not be permitted and parking will open 90 minutes before kickoff time. Fans are permitted to enter only through parking gates 1 & 6 where they will show their pre-paid pass to the attendants from behind their closed window. Parking attendants will wear masks and maintain social distancing. All fans age 3 and older will be required to bring and wear an approved face covering at all times except when eating and drinking.
Fans will enter the stadium through the gate designated on their ticket during a phased entry time that will be published for each game and will correlate to seat location. Doors will be open so guests do not need to touch them and markings will indicate six feet of space for social distancing.
When spectators enter, an employee will ask fans a series of questions relating to COVID exposure and then each person will have their temperature checked. Fans will only be permitted to enter if they register a temperature under 100.4 degrees. Fans will then make their way through the traditional security screening.
At the end of the game, security event staff will direct sections to exit by row, with the last row exiting first and the first row exiting last.
All tickets will be for reserved seating in the lower level. Seats will be sold in small groups of one to four seats and will be spaced out by a minimum of four seats or six feet. Seats will be sold allowing for one full row between groups in front of or behind the seats. Social distancing will take place at the box office with marked guidelines.
Specatator seating will be cleaned and sanitized prior to the gates opening. Hand sanitizing stations will be present and available for use in many areas. Arrows will be placed on the floor to show which direction stadium guests will be recommended to travel.
Perhaps the biggest change and most noticeable difference will be on the field. Though the energy of the games will not be dimished, officials are refraining from allowing fans onto the field. Also on the field, celebrations following matches and goals are to take place without hugging and high fiving, and referees, players, and staff will be wearing cloth or medical masks throughout the match, with the exception of players and referees engaged in on-field activities.
Zeke, the English mastiff mascot might be absent for a time, to help keep congregating to a minimum, and the popular Honda Fun Zone will be missed this season. However, Indy Eleven has a brand new app which includes new interactive games, trivia and fan polls through The Q. It's a brand new way to interact with the team and the community before and after the games.