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'Tough' process starts to physically distance LouCity fans

By LouCity Communications, 06/23/20, 5:15PM EDT

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While the club is approved to go to 50% capacity, it may limit attendance to less.

Following news this week that Lynn Family Stadium will be allowed to reach up to 50% capacity when Louisville City FC's season resumes, the club's vice president of sales and marketing said Tuesday that his staff had started formulating what that will look like come game day.

Mitch Ried said that due to physical distancing protocols mandated by Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear -- keeping fans from different households six feet apart -- "getting 50% is probably going to be very tough."

"The news is fresh that we're able to start looking at it," Ried said, "and the process has started to figure out how many fans exactly we'll be able to accommodate in a safe manner once we open the gates for our first match.

"...What's great about our ticketing technology with SeatGeek is we have technology that will space out seats -- the chairs -- from six feet mouth to mouth. So we're putting that into the equation now. We have some standing room-only areas as well we can distance out."

RELATED: Full rundown of VenueShield protocols

LouCity will be following stadium operator ASM Global's VenueShield program. ASM Global, which operates facilities on five continents, also counts Louisville's KFC Yum! Center among its 325 points worldwide.

Eric Granger, general manager of ASM Global, also met with reporters Tuesday at Lynn Family Stadium, where he said ""we knew early on during the shutdown that we had to prepare a program that would give fans, employees, our clients, the athletes that play as well as our performers, confidence that we'd have a safe environment for them."

Granger said VenueShield places an emphasis on having well-trained employees seeing out protocols. Fans will have to pass a temperature screening and wear a face covering while inside the stadium in addition to distancing.

Aside from those well-known COVID-19 prevention techiques, "Once they come through gates, then they'll experience almost normal conditions."

There are, of course, a few exceptions, including that touch points will be consistently sanitized; clear bags only will be allowed; and Lynn Family Stadium will operate cash-free, with its concessions in separately wrapped containers and plexiglass barriers separating cashiers from customers.

"All these protocols, including monitoring the number of people going into restrooms -- are all in place to make sure that our fans feel safe and they also have an environment where they're confident they can come with their families," Granger said.

LouCity's Ried expects a USL Championship schedule in the next seven to 10 days. The league announced previously that play is scheduled to resume July 11.

LouCity, a two-time league champion that has advanced to the Eastern Conference finals in each of its first five seasons, kicked off 2020 with a 1-0 victory at North Carolina FC back in March before play halted due to the pandemic.

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