Vanderbilt will allow limited student attendance for first home game, announces enhanced virtual fan features

Vanderbilt has announced it will allow limited student attendance at its first home football game on Saturday, Oct. 3, as well as a slate of game day virtual features for fans.

Candice Storey Lee, interim vice chancellor for athletics and university affairs and interim athletic director (Vanderbilt University)
Candice Storey Lee, vice chancellor for athletics and university affairs and athletic director (Vanderbilt University)

“As part of our ongoing efforts, we’ve decided to allow a very limited number of Vanderbilt students to attend the Oct. 3 game and cheer on our student-athletes,” Vice Chancellor for Athletics and University Affairs and Athletic Director Candice Storey Lee said. “This is a small step toward normalcy based on guidance from our public health partners, but we are not taking it lightly. We will work to ensure the health and safety of the Vanderbilt community as much as possible.”

Vanderbilt’s COVID-19 positivity rate continues to trend low, and Vanderbilt students are tested weekly and are under strict campus protocols to limit the spread of the disease.

The university is working to prepare Vanderbilt Stadium for students to ensure physical distancing. Masks will also be required, and services such as concessions will not be activated to limit movement within the stadium.

Senior undergraduate students are being given first priority to attend the Oct. 3 game, followed by juniors, sophomores and first-year students, until the limited number of tickets available has been distributed. Students will be contacted directly via email with details about how to get their tickets. Decisions about student attendance at future home football games will be determined following the first game.

Chancellor Daniel Diermeier (John Russell/Vanderbilt)
Chancellor Daniel Diermeier (John Russell/Vanderbilt)

“Athletics is an important way for our community to connect with one another,” Chancellor Daniel Diermeier said. “Game day adds to the undergraduate student experience, providing an opportunity for students to participate in university traditions and make memories with friends. We believe that we can allow a limited number of students to attend as safely as possible and help foster school spirit and create meaningful connections among all of our students.”

New features for fans watching from home

Vanderbilt Athletics also announced a number of new fan engagement initiatives for the 2020 season.

In lieu of an in-person tailgate, the athletic department will host the Commodore Tailgate Show before each home contest. Fans can tune in to the first Commodore Tailgate Show beginning at 5 p.m. CST on Saturday, Oct. 3. Hosted by Kevin Ingram, the show will stream live on Vanderbilt Athletics’ Facebook page, Twitter account and YouTube channel, and on and the Vanderbilt Commodores app. In addition to pregame commentary, the show will include exclusive segments with coaches and special guests.

Fans also can follow along during the game through the Vanderbilt Commodores app and on social media. During each home game, fans can receive live updates through the VUCommodores app, including behind-the-scenes content, the Anchor Drop, starting lineups, live trivia and more, with a virtual t-shirt toss and chances to win prizes and exclusive Commodores gear. Fans can download the app from the Apple App Store or Google Play and should turn on push notifications to receive updates during the game.

Highlights and a press conference will be posted after each contest. For more information on how to follow along on Oct. 3, visit