Maryland sporting events will return to full fan capacity for the 2021-22 sports seasons, the athletic department announced Monday.
The move comes a week after Prince George’s County lifted all capacity restrictions on indoor and outdoor venues. Masks are still required for those over 5 years old, though that guidance could change in the coming months based on vaccination rates and COVID-19 cases in the county.
The return of fans will bring about a semblance of normalcy after more than a year with no or limited spectators in attendance.
While family members were initially allowed at football games last October, two major COVID-19 outbreaks on the team coupled with rising cases statewide caused the athletic department to change course and keep the stands empty for several months. Family members returned to College Park for men’s and women’s basketball senior nights in early March.
As vaccines became more widely available, limited numbers of fans were allowed to attend games beginning April 3. Now, those restrictions are eradicated.
Currently, the first sporting events slated to have fans are the Aug. 26 men’s soccer home opener and the Sept. 4 football game against West Virginia. The full fall sports schedule has yet to be finalized.
“We are very grateful to the officials in the state of Maryland, Prince George’s County and the University of Maryland who continued to safely navigate us through these difficult and unprecedented times,” athletic director Damon Evans said in a statement. “We knew the day would come when we could welcome our loyal Terp fans back to our venues at full capacity in a safe manner.”