Canes love in the time of coronavirus: UM students not allowed to attend game

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – It didn’t feel like Miami Hurricanes game day on Thursday at Hard Rock Stadium. Tailgate parties were not allowed. And aside from the players, University of Miami students were not allowed to attend.

Sandra Balom was there for her first game as a Canes football mom. She said she had to support her son: UM safety Brian Balom, a freshman recruited out of Miramar High School last year.

“I’m concerned, but overall I’m excited,” the proud mom said before the Canes faced Alabama-Birmingham.

Miami-Dade County allowed the stadium, which has the capacity for nearly 65,350 fans, to welcome about 13,000 people for the game. Only 8,153 showed up.

To make social distancing feasible while going through security screenings, Derek Brous and other die-hard Canes fans had different scheduled designated arrival times.

“We are not happy about that, but we will take what we can get,” Brous said. “There are some stadiums that have no fans in the stands.”

Fans also had to undergo temperature checks, wear face masks and comply with the spread-out seating arrangements. The stores and the restrooms also had capacity restrictions. The phone charging stations and the ATM machines were gone. Alcohol was not allowed.

The Canes won the game 31-14. Alex Avello said he and his friends are willing to follow all of the coronavirus pandemic safety restrictions if that’s what it takes to be able to watch their team win.

“We’ve been doing this since the 80s, all the championships,” Avello said. “We are going to be here for more."

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