The Dayton Flyers will play home games throughout December with no more than 300 spectators in the stands at UD Arena, which can seat as many as 13,407 fans.
University of Dayton Athletic Director Neil Sullivan informed season-ticket holders of that capacity limit in an email Friday. The title of the email was: “Extremely limited capacity at UD Arena to remain through December.”
“The limited seating will go to players' families, a limited number of students and invited athletic department guests,” Sullivan wrote. “UD Arena may receive a variance related to isolated seating areas such as individual family suites and loges seats.”
The college basketball season begins Nov. 25. Dayton’s earliest known home game is Dec. 1 against Bellarmine University. It also plays Southern Methodist University on Dec. 5 at UD Arena.
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Sullivan told fans he doesn’t know what the spectator limit will be throughout the full season. The limit of 300 was set by the Ohio Department of Health.
“We will continue to collaborate with both Public Health — Dayton & Montgomery County and the Ohio Department of Health — to pursue additional variances throughout the season as conditions allow,” Sullivan wrote. “Given the current local and state COVID trends, our next opportunity will likely be January 1 or later.”
In October, Dayton announced it had submitted a variance request plan that differed from the state’s capacity limit, but Sullivan knew it was unlikely to be approved in the early portion of the schedule as the number of COVID-19 cases in Ohio continued to rise. The pandemic has continued to worsen since then.
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At the same time in October, Sullivan offered fans the opportunity to opt in or opt out of season tickets for the 2020-21 season. Fans who chose to opt in made a refundable deposit of $50-$200 based upon season-ticket location.
In Friday’s update, Sullivan told fans who opted in, "we have your deposit and have recorded your intentions to be included in any significant capacity variance granted. If we are able to pursue and receive a significant variance, you will automatically be included for consideration. If, given this update, you would like to change your response from opting in to opting out, you will need to contact the UD Arena Ticket Office at FlyerTickets@udayton.edu or (937) 229-4433.
“For those of you who opted out, as long as you paid your Arena seating contribution, you will maintain the opportunity to renew your Arena Seating Program contribution and seats for the 2021-22 season. You will not be billed again until the Arena Seating Program contributions are due for the 2021-22 season.”