I attended my first college basketball game of the 2020-21 season on December 6th, to see Texas vs. Villanova. Outside of the game itself, it was quite the experience. The basics requirements were of mask wearing and social distancing were in place at the Erwin Center. My photo was taken 16 minutes before tip off and not many of those seats filled in once the game started.
Few if any people sat below row 16. Our usual seats on row 9 were moved to row 6 in the mezzanine section above our regular seats. As frustrating as being moved was, the seats this season aren't bad and there's obviously plenty of room around us.
Entering the game we had to go to the gate nearest our seats. I had hopes of that being more of a suggestion but when our QR codes were scanned at the incorrect door they didn't work. The philosophy behind this is to coordinate people directly to their seats and reduce congestion at entry points nearest the busy street outside. Concession areas in the mezzanine were reduced so if you wanted more than popcorn and drinks you still had to go the arena level.
Another unusual result of the pandemic is the location of the TV announcers. They are usually seated court side at mid-court. This season they will call games from a suite located between the free throw line and 3-point line, about 30 rows from the court.
All in all it was fun to be back in the arena and I definitely had to remind myself a few times to be patient and thankful that we get to attend games at all this year.