Syracuse University Football Games Still Without Fans Syracuse Football Still Without Fans

Reporter: Syracuse University football is known for its die hard fanbase and crowds of supporters traveling near and far to watch games in person. But since the coronavirus pandemic, the school has had to limit game-day attendance for the safety of everyone.

Reporter: Syracuse University football player, Caleb Okechukwu tell us about the new normal.

Okechukwu: “The first game out there was a little weird, but um it just teaches you about how much your team really supports each other because, like, you can only look to the sideline and look at your fellow teammates supporting you and cheering you on. So just understanding that and having that camaraderie between each other just to keep going is like the new effect.”

Reporter: Last Saturday was the team’s first home game where they won but even without fans in the crowd, the players had to remember one thing.

Okechukwu: “People are still rooting for us to play. So, I think it’s just perspective. It’s not really negative. It’s just how you look at it for real for real.”

Reporter: A new perspective that we’ll all have to get used to. For NCC News, I’m Mariama Jalloh.

Syracuse, N.Y. (NCC News) — Syracuse University football is known for its die-hard fans and crowds of supporters who travel to watch games in person. But since the coronavirus pandemic, the school had to limit game day attendance due to safety protocols.

This new normal has had an impact on fans and the institution. However, as the first home game commenced on Sept. 26, we’re reminded that the players on the field were and are continuously affected.

“Before a game, you could not be mentally ready,” said Syracuse University football player Caleb Okechukwu. “But when you see the crowd you realize, ‘I need to play well because all these people paid money to come see us play, so I need to perform.’ So it’s like without the fans, it gives you that feeling like, ‘why are we even playing.’”


Inside the Carrier Dome, Syracuse vs Louisville
An overall view of the Syracuse University Carrier Dome during an NCAA college football game between Syracuse and Louisville in Syracuse, N.Y., Friday, Nov. 9, 2018. Syracuse beat Louisville 54-23. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)

In July, Governor Cuomo of New York issued an order to ban hosting fans at sporting events. Cuomo gave no time frame as to when the order will end or when things can resume to normalcy.

“The school, at this point, has no say on when we’ll be allowing fans back into the Dome” said the Executive Assistant to the Athletic Director Mary Kelly. It’s all up to New York State, we’re just waiting to hear something just like everyone else.”

The longevity of the order is unforeseen as the season continues, however playing and winning for the fans watching at home is still number one priority.


SU Football warming up in the Carrier Dome.
The Syracuse Football team debuted in the newly renovated Carrier Dome last Saturday.
© 2020 Jacob Kronberg

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