The coronavirus pandemic has left a major stain and many questions surrounding the future of college athletics, but one question stands above the rest; could the Duke basketball team have to play without Cameron Crazies this season?
No one truly knows what to expect in a return to sports amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but in a best-case scenario there will be collegiate athletes in the fall and the winter.
However, the idea of being fans in the stands for these games seems extremely unlikely, especially in the fall for college football.
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Duke has seen very small crowds at Wallace Wade Stadium in just about every game, and games that are played during inclement weather have just about no fans in attendance.
That brings in Cameron Indoor Stadium, where 9,314 people are packed in on top of each other for at least two hours and the famous Cameron Crazies breathing down the necks of their fellow students, the members of the media, and the opposing players on the court.
Under current social distancing guidelines set by the CDC, it seems nearly impossible to flood the basketball cathedral until there is a vaccine for the coronavirus, which scientists have said might not be available for 12-18 months.
While that would be a huge disadvantage to the Blue Devils playing with no fans in Cameron, it could work as a portion when Duke would have to go on the road.
Opposing fans of teams, good or bad, flock to their arena to get a glimpse of Mike Krzyzewski and his team, and they treat every game against the five-time National Champions like it is a title game.
Just look at the Syracuse Orange, who consistently set new attendance records when the Blue Devils visit the Carrier Dome but struggle to fill the top half of the dome against other ACC powerhouses like North Carolina or longtime foe from the Big East and now ACC, Louisville.
Prior to the cancellation of the conference and NCAA Tournaments, the only fans that could be allowed in the stands were family members of players and coaches and a select few numbers of tickets that the school was allowed to distribute.
Could that be the case for the 2020-21 season as well? It’s possible, and hopefully, the families of the players would be allowed to see their loved ones in action, but it would be a tremendous loss to the schools and players if fans are not allowed in the buildings.
So, while Duke would be losing out on its own amazing home-court advantage, there would be major benefits in road games, should that be the case.
Regardless of the fan situation, hopefully, we will have college sports to enjoy by the end of this summer and fans in the seats in due time.
For more information about COVID-19, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website or the website for your state’s Department of Health.