Duke to play home football games without fans

Monday, August 24, 2020
Duke to have no fans during football games
Duke to have no fans during football games.

DURHAM, N.C. -- When it comes to titles, no one can top Bob Weiseman at Duke. He's the "Senior Associate Director of Athletics/Athletic Facilities, Game Operations and Championships."

It was his job to make the decision Duke announced Monday to not allow fans at football games, but it wasn't his alone.

"Our coaching staff members, student-athletes, our student-athlete advisory group was included in our planning process," Weiseman told ABC11.

As a group, they concluded this was the way forward, at least for Duke's home opener Sept. 19 vs. Boston College.

"At the heart of that planning process is the idea that we're going to be flexible and nimble, so I think while we're saying right now no fans, you know, with our game days we're ready to flex up if needed if the conditions were to improve and if we felt it was safe to do so," he said.

In place of their actual person, Blue Devil fans are encouraged to purchase cardboard cutouts of themselves that will be seated at Wallace Wade -- $95 gets you in the door with higher-priced options and perks available.

"It's a way for people to still have a connection to the event, to have a connection to the university that they love and care for and support and a way to leave your mark on such a unique time in history," Weiseman said.

Duke certainly hasn't got the most feverish football fan base so this is an easier decision to make in Durham rather than say, Clemson. Regardless though of relative fan pressure, Weiseman is confident in their plan and their ability to change if things get better.

"I think we've earned some credibility to date on how we've handled our business and I think so long as we continue to be transparent and open and do what's in the best interest of all involved, I think people will be supportive," he said.