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USC approved to have 20,000 fans at Williams-Brice Stadium this season

Fans will be allowed inside but must wear face mask, physically distance, and tailgating will be discouraged.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The University of South Carolina football team has gotten approval to have 20,000 fans at home games during the upcoming season.

The athletics announced the decision had come in Thursday afternoon. Other fall sporting events, including soccer and volleyball, also got approval to have fans, but at an extremely limited capacity. 

Fans who go will be required to wear face masks within athletics venues and physical distance, and there will be varous safety measure throughout the approved venues. The school said it will discourage tailgating and prohibit the use of tents.

Williams-Brice Stadium has a listed seating capacity of 80,250. 

Back on July 29, Gov. Henry McMaster issued an executive order allowing stadium in the state to open and exceed the orders guidelines for fans if they provide they were complying with COVID-19 safety protocols. The university had to submit their plans to the South Carolina Department of Commerce for approval. 

Thursday's action granted the school the exemption they were seeking.

"We are extremely grateful for the hard work of Governor McMaster, the South Carolina Department of Commerce and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control for their confidence in this plan," said Gamecock Athletics Director Ray Tanner.

The Gamecock football team is set to open the season at home on Saturday, September 26 against Tennessee. They will only play 10 regular season games and they will all be SEC matchups.

RELATED: South Carolina Gamecocks full football schedule released

RELATED: SEC to require face masks for all fans at football games this fall

Stone Stadium for men's and women's soccer will be allowed to have approximately 675 seats for fan, while the Carolina Volleyball Center will have 200 seats. 

All home Gamecock Athletics events will be mobile-only ticketing, allowing for reduced contact at points of entry and greater flexibility to make adjustments should scheduling changes arise. The move also provides fans with more control in how they access, transfer, resell or return tickets. Fans will no longer receive a printed ticket booklet or have the option to print at home.

USC announced earlier this month the "Reinvest for Success" that allows any season ticket holders who would like a refund of their 2020-21 season tickets and any ticket-related expenses due to fears of COVID-19 can receive one while retaining their right to renew those tickets in 2021-22.

RELATED: USC rolls out 'Reinvest for Success' campaign for season ticket holders

Further details for fans will be announced later.