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Three bowl games scheduled in three days in North Texas as COVID-19 numbers rise

Health experts warn against traveling and large crowds.

Three bowl games are on the horizon in three consecutive days as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to rise in Tarrant County.

  • Wed., Dec. 30 – Cotton Bowl Classic, Oklahoma vs. Florida at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
  • Thurs., Dec. 31 – Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl, Tulsa vs. Mississippi State at Amon G Carter Stadium in Fort Worth.
  • Friday, Jan. 1 – Rose Bowl, Alabama vs. Notre Dame at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

Fans from out of state are expected to crowd the stadiums as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are still a big concern in Tarrant County.

“None of these numbers are looking good at this point,” said Dr. Rajesh Nandy of the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth.

Nandy is among many health experts that warn traveling and large crowds contribute to the spread of COVID-19.

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“We just have to be extra careful,” Nandy said.

Organizers have a plan in place, according to Arlington fire chief and director of emergency management Don Crowson.

“It’s a very safe and reasonable environment for a fan experience,” Crowson said.

Crowds at AT&T Stadium will be 20 to 30 percent of normal capacity, Crowson said.

“There’s also a mask requirement and social distancing guidelines in place along with hygiene stations and event staff to make sure these precautions are being followed,” Crowson said.

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The Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth will limit attendance to 20 percent capacity with pods of two or four spectators, no more no less, with social distancing enforced between pods.

Still, Nandy urges fans to skip the tickets and watch from home.

“It’s not a good idea to attend in person,” Nandy said.

For fans who still plan to watch in person, Crowson urges them to stick to the COVID-19 game plan.

“That they would respect the rights of others to be protected,” Crowson said. “I urge them to protect themselves and to follow the rules at the event. If they do that, they’ll have a great fan experience and they’ll be okay.”