Wolverine football returns to Ann Arbor with precautions in place to keep fans safe

‘I think it’s going to be a celebration, for sure!’

COVID protocols in place at The Big House for start of college football

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – It’s finally college football time, but this year at the Big House will be much different from seasons prior.

Fans will be allowed inside the stadium and they can tailgate outside.

The last time fans were able to pack Michigan Stadium to cheer on the Wolverines was November 2019. The stadium will welcome back more than 100,000 fans Saturday.

Read: Michigan football hosts Western Michigan to kick off critical chapter of Harbaugh era

Michigan Stadium will require fans to wear face coverings when inside any indoor areas -- including restrooms, the M Den stores and premium club suites -- but for fans in the bowl, masks are optional but encouraged.

Read: Massive study finds masks work to limit COVID-19 community spread

Ann Arbor resident Sarai Shoup said they are concerned about the amount of people gathering in the stadium while the delta variant is on the rise.

“COVID is not over,” Shoup said. “It’s still here and people crowded together, it makes me nervous and I think it should make a lot of people nervous.”

More: Tracking Michigan school districts, colleges requiring masks for 2021-2022 school year

Some students -- like senior Decklan Gaffney -- are excited to watch the Wolverines in person this year, mask or not.

“I’m just excited for the energy of the place, to say the least,” Gaffney said. “I’ll wear a mask as long as I can get into the Big House.”

University of Michigan officials said the current masking policy is subject to change, but they expect this version of guidelines to stick around for the whole season.

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About the Authors:

You can watch Kim on the morning newscast weekdays from 4:30 to 7 a.m., and frequently doing reports on the 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.