Vanderbilt to increase capacity at baseball stadium

Sports

Fans await the start of an NCAA college baseball game pitting Vanderbilt against Eastern Kentucky at Hawkins Field on Tuesday, April 13, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/John Amis)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Ask and you shall receive.

Following a series-clinching 10-4 win in Knoxville on Sunday, Tim Corbin commented on the raucous and lively atmosphere at Lindsey Nelson Stadium on the UT campus.

“This environment here, I don’t know what we’re doing in Nashville, but there aren’t many empty seats now. Let me just tell you, COVID does not exist in Knoxville. There are a lot of people here having a good time, and sometimes at our expense,” said Tim Corbin in a post-game Zoom call with media.

According to the Tennesseean, Corbin clarified his remarks saying he was praising the Big Orange atmosphere, not criticizing it.

Hours following the remarks, Vanderbilt Athletics Director Candice Storey Lee released a statement on Twitter announcing increased attendance at Hawkins Field – Vanderbilt’s home baseball stadium.

“Like Coach Corbin, I’m eager to get back to “normal” and fill our stands at Hawkins Field. We also understand that the dynamics in each metropolitan area are unique and the pandemic is ongoing,” she wrote on Twitter.

The capacity at Lindsey Nelson Stadium was roughly 50 percent. Lee won’t increase it to that number, but thanks to new guidelines set by Metro Public Health last week, the capacity can increase now to 40 percent for outdoor events.

Lee, in a separate Tweet said, “The good news is that the limit has increased and we will adjust starting this week. We are allowing as many fans as the established venue limitations allow. Thank you for your unending support of our student-athletes, especially during such a unique time.”

Hawkins Field has a capacity of 3,700 and 40 percent would come out to 1,480 fans. That figure is about double what was previously allowed. Lee did not specify what the new capacity would be.

No. 2 Vanderbilt hosts Austin Peay on Tuesday and begins a 3-game series with SEC-foe Mississippi State on Friday.

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