Ohio State spring football game to go on despite Franklin County's 'purple' COVID level

Bill Bush
The Columbus Dispatch

The Ohio State Buckeyes spring football game is on for a noon Saturday kickoff at the Horseshoe, despite the fact that Franklin County is the only county in Ohio now under the highest Level 4 "purple" on the state COVID Public Health Advisory Alert System.

Under the advisory system, a purple designation means there is a high risk of "severe exposure and spread," and residents are recommended to "stay at home" with "necessary travel only." Purple also includes all of the "red" Level 3 recommendations, which advise to "decrease in-person interactions" and "limit attending gatherings of any number."

Ohio Stadium, also known as the Horseshoe, the Shoe, and the House That Harley Built, is on the campus of The Ohio State University.  Photographed Tuesday, June 16, 2020.

Ohio State announced last week that it would allow a total 19,180 spectators to watch the spring football game, with about 10,000 tickets given to front-line pandemic workers and the rest of the tickets sold to the public. The 19,180 tickets represents about 18% of the stadium's maximum capacity of just under 105,000.

COVID-19 in Ohio:What's it mean that Franklin County is now purple on the Ohio COVID map?

The spring game capacity limit was determined with the guidance of Columbus Public Health in accordance with health orders announced by Gov. Mike DeWine, the university said last week. Social-distancing and masks will be required at the spring game, the university said. Tailgating will not be permitted.

The Ohio State band, cheerleaders and dance team will perform. The game will be televised on the Big Ten Network.