Coronavirus: Masks mandated for Saturday’s TaxSlayer Gator Bowl in Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. —

The Kentucky Wildcats and the North Carolina State Wolfpack will face off in the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl on Saturday.

But things will be a bit different this year amid the pandemic.

Occupancy will be capped at 10,000.

Masks will be required to enter the stadium.

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“We’re going to enforce it; we’re going to have staff monitoring it. But we’re also going to expect that people will respect the policy,” said ASM Global General Manager, Bill McConnell.

JSO says if fans are not following the mask policy, they’ll be reminded and educated by ASM staff.

If fans refuse to comply, they’ll be asked to leave.

“And if they refuse to leave at that point, they’ll be trespassed after warning,” said JSO officer, Andre Ayoub. “… We want people to enjoy this game in a safe manner.”

Tailgating will not be allowed on the stadium’s property.

“There will not be penalties. We will just ask you to stop. And I’m sure most people will comply,” said Gator Bowl organizer, Rick Catlett.

While fans’ temperatures will not be checked upon entry, those who have symptoms or who have been exposed to the virus are expected to stay home.

Titia Jackson owns a sports bar on the Eastside, a short drive away from the stadium.

She tells Action News Jax the Gator Bowl brought a big economic boost just one year ago.

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“It was our first event because we opened our doors in January, and we had a lot of customers to come through,” said Jackson.

With occupancy at the Gator Bowl limited, fewer out-of-town fans will be visiting Jacksonville, in what’s been a tough year for businesses.

“We’ve never closed our door. We’re making ends meet,” said Jackson.

Jackson says she’s looking forward to business being what it once was.

“We will gladly welcome the city being opened back up again,” said Jackson.

A clear bag policy will be in place.

Fans can bring non-clear purses no larger than four and half inches by six and half inches.