DePaul will start 2020-21 season with no fans in attendance due to Covid-19 restrictions

DePaul+fans+celebrate+together+during+the+Blue+Demons%27+game+against+Texas+Tech+on+Dec.+4%2C+2019.

Ryan Gilroy

DePaul fans celebrate together during the Blue Demons’ game against Texas Tech on Dec. 4, 2019.

DePaul will not allow fans to attend men’s and women’s basketball games to start the 2020-21 season due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the athletic department announced Monday morning. 

Illinois and the city of Chicago have seen an increase in Covid-19 cases in the last month, with the state’s positivity rate now sitting above 10 percent. With the surge in cases, DePaul will follow local health regulations and play games without fans for at least the start of the season. 

The health and safety of our DePaul community remains our top priority,” DePaul’s release read. “In order to allow for a competition to take place given current health restrictions, DePaul men’s and women’s basketball will start the 2020-21 season with no fans in attendance.”

The university did leave the door open for possibly allowing fans into games later in the season if there’s an improvement with the pandemic. If that is the case and fans are allowed to attend games, then DePaul will only provide tickets on a single-game ticket basis. 

As a result, there will not be a season ticket package option for this season, but current season ticket holders will have priority in purchasing tickets for individual home games. 

Season ticket holders that had already placed commitment memberships or ticket deposits can choose one of three options: convert all or a portion to a tax-deductible charitable gift supporting the Fund for Basketball Excellence, carry-over credit for the 2021-22 season or receive a refund.

Big East commissioner Val Ackerman has already said that the conference will allow each school to make decisions regarding fan attendance. 

According to reports, the men’s team is scheduled to open the season at home against Western Illinois on Nov. 25, and then begin conference play at Seton Hall on Dec. 11. The women’s team, on the other hand, will begin Big East play on Dec. 4 at Villanova and then host Xavier two days later.