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Baylor Football

Mack Rhoades expects season opener against Ole Miss to be played in front of fans

May 20, 2020

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With or without fans in attendance, Baylor is set to open the 2020 football season with a neutral site contest against Ole Miss of the SEC on Sept. 5 inside NRG Stadium in Houston. 

At least for now.

Rumors began to swirl earlier this week about the possibility of the game being played on Sunday, Sept. 6 for television purposes. However, there has been no confirmation of the recent report that the contest will be moved, according to Baylor Vice President and Director of Athletics Mack Rhoades. 

“I don’t think that has been confirmed by anyone including Baylor University,” Rhoades told SicEm365 Radio on Tuesday. “So probably, yeah, probably jumped the gun.”

Rhoades did not completely shut down the possibility, clarifying later in the interview that nothing has been made official and the game could potentially be played on Saturday or Sunday of Labor Day weekend.

The more polarizing topic addressed by Rhoades was the updated thought process of allowing fans inside NRG Stadium to watch the game. As things stand currently, Rhoades believes fans will be allowed to attend.

“Yeah, right now, you know, I do,” Rhoades said. 

“Today is what, the 19th? So we still have the entire month of June and July and August, so it’s 90-plus days away. My sense is where we’re headed, how we’re headed, is that we would play in front of fans.

“Now, is it max capacity? Is there a percentage of capacity that is allowed into NRG Stadium? That probably remains to be seen and is probably an option. It’s something we’re all thinking about.” 

That goes not just for the season opener in Houston, but also home games throughout the season.

“Not just any neutral site games, but our home games as well, in terms of are we going to be able to play with full capacity or are we going to need to modify that somehow, someway.

"I think the Ole Miss game is a really important game for all of us. I think it's probably going to end up being much more than just a football game. It’s going to be a step towards at least some normalcy or near-normalcy and I think it will be a step toward community and bringing people together again."

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