Many people are over the COVID-19 restrictions still in place in some parts of the United States, and that’s especially true when it comes to restrictions that limit capacity for outdoor sporting events. Louisville head baseball coach Dan McDonnell is one of those people and went on a passionate, honest rant about it on Tuesday.
McDonell’s Cardinals earned a huge 7-2 win at home over No. 2 Vanderbilt, but there was something missing, and that something was a full stadium. The state of Kentucky has capped attendance at just 20 percent and Louisville is missing that true home-field atmosphere, especially after a win over one of the top programs in all of college baseball.
McDonnell is sick of seeing the stadium less than one-quarter full for games.
“I’m ready to open this place up, I’m not going to lie. I’m beyond frustrated, I’m tired of it,” McDonnell explained. “We’re an outdoor sport, I mean let’s go people. Turn on the Masters, watch the Derby, watch the games in the SEC and in other ballparks, it’s an outdoor sport. If you want to risk it, you risk it. I’m tired of playing games without people in the stands.”
— Kent Spencer (@WHAS11Kent) May 4, 2021
McDonnell certainly makes some fair points, especially when he mentions the crowd we saw at the Kentucky Derby last weekend, which took place just down the road from Louisville’s campus. Churchill Downs had various limitations on capacity in the different areas of the track but still welcomed just shy of 52,000 fans for the race.
Then you have the SEC, which McDonell references as well, which many baseball programs around the conference are operating either at 100% capacity or just shy of it. Ole Miss baseball averaged over 33,000 fans during a weekend series against Arkansas just a few weeks ago. You can understand McDonnell’s frustrations, especially with Louisville currently ranked No. 11 in the nation with a real shot at hosting a regional this postseason.