On Monday morning, Villanova Athletics announced their updated attendance policy for basketball games played at Finneran Pavilion this season. Initially, Villanova had planned to allow a limited number of students, faculty, staff and family of players to attend the games, keeping attendance to a maximum of 15% capacity. However, due to the rise in COVID-19 cases in the Philadelphia area, they had to make a change. Villanova stated that for the time being only family members of participating student-athletes will be allowed to attend. This policy applies to both men’s and women’s home basketball games.
This decision was made for the health and safety of the players, coaching staff, and the entire Villanova Community. Many students and faculty members are sure to be upset with this news, but this is not a permanent change. In a statement from the athletics department, Director of Athletics Mark Jackson assured the Villanova community that this policy is subject to change and that they “will continue to monitor the situation and adjust the policy as needed.”
This will certainly have an impact on the atmosphere in The Finn and will take away from the usual home-court advantage that the Villanova players feel. Home basketball games on campus are always a special event, and Villanovans will certainly miss this feeling of community and excitement as the Wildcats take the floor.
The men’s team will play its first home game next Monday, November 30th against Big Five rival Saint Joseph’s, followed by another home game on Thursday against Temple University. The ‘Cats, ranked #3 in the preseason national standings by the Associated Press, have an opportunity to win back-to-back Big Five titles, and these two games are just the start.
The Women’s team plays its first home game Friday December 4th against reigning Big East regular season champions, DePaul. This is a big game for the ‘Cats as they kick off their conference schedule only two games into the season. With a new coach, Denise Dillon, and five incoming freshmen, Villanova will look to start off strong and improve on their success from last season.
With students not returning to campus until January 25, there is still a chance that students and faculty will be able to attend home games before the season is over.