CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – The ACC recognizes the uncertain and challenging environment all areas of our society are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Intercollegiate athletics is just one area that we must address as we work to return to our campuses, bring back students and faculty when possible, and pursue our academic missions and goals as part of higher education. The health, safety, and well-being of all our campus constituents is at the forefront of all decisions.
With this in mind, the ACC Board of Directors announced that if public health guidance allows, all seven ACC sponsored fall sports will begin competition during the week of Sept. 7-12. The announcement follows several months of discussion and scenario planning among the league membership and Medical Advisory Group. Each decision is based on the best available medical guidelines and coincides with our universities’ academic missions.
In football, Boston College hosts Georgia Tech, Pitt, North Carolina, Notre Dame and Louisville in ACC play this season. The Eagles visit Clemson, Syracuse, Virginia Tech, Duke, and Virginia to round out the 10-game conference slate.
It marks the first time the ACC has gone to a 10-game conference schedule.
Dates of games, kickoff times and television coverage are still to be announced. An 11th game against a non-conference opponent will also be announced at a later date.
The ACC’s Medical Advisory Group, which has been meeting weekly since the spring to share information on the impact of COVID-19 on ACC campuses and intercollegiate athletics, has recommended minimum standards for each campus to follow as fall sports return. Among those recommendations are weekly testing for close contact sports, standards for reporting positive test results, and protocols for cleaning and sanitizing competition areas.
Information specific to 2020 competition for both football and the league’s Olympic Sports is included below. The league’s leadership, and its medical advisory group, will continue to meet on a weekly basis to share information and discuss medical issues related to the ACC’s return to play. Should any future adjustments be necessary, the ACC Board of Directors will do so at the appropriate time.
- The season’s first games will take place the week of Sept. 7-12
- The 2020 scheduling model includes 11 games (10 plus one: 10 conference and one non-conference)
- All non-conference game opponents, selected by the respective school, must be played in the home state of the ACC institution, and all non-conference opponents must meet the medical protocol requirements as agreed upon by the ACC
- The 11 games will be played over at least 13 weeks with each team having two open dates
- There will be one division
- Notre Dame will also play a 10-game conference schedule and be eligible to compete in the 2020 ACC Football Championship Game
- All television revenue for the 2020 season, including Notre Dame’s home games broadcast by NBC, will be shared equally by all 15 institutions
- The ACC Football Championship Game will be played on either December 12 or 19 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, and will feature the top two teams based upon highest conference-game winning percentage
- All 15 teams will continue to be part of the ACC’s bowl selection process; should Notre Dame win the ACC Football Championship Game they would be eligible for the Orange Bowl, if not selected as a College Football Playoff semifinal team
- The 2020 ACC Football week-by-week schedule and television selections will be released in the future
ACC Fall Olympic Sports:
- Fall Olympic Sports competition may begin on Thursday, Sept. 10
- Team sports will play a conference schedule that meets the NCAA minimum amount of games: field hockey (6), women’s soccer (6), men’s soccer (6) and volleyball (10)
- Schools will continue to schedule regular-season cross country competitions at their discretion
- Any additional games against conference opponents or non-conference opponents are at the respective school’s discretion and all opponents must meet the ACC’s medical standards
- Any additional games against conference opponents that are beyond the conference-mandated schedules would not count in the ACC standings
- The schedule for ACC Fall Championships
- The cross country championships will be held at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. on October 30, and include all fifteen member schools
- The field hockey championship will be held at Duke University on November 5, 6 and 8
- The women’s soccer championship will include the top four teams and be held at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. on November 6 and 8, as previously announced
- The men’s soccer championship will include the top four teams and be held at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. on November 13 and 15
- Television selections via the ACC’s partnership with ESPN and ACC Network will be made in the future
ACC Winter and Spring Olympic Sports:
- Competition in the sports of swimming and diving, indoor track and field and fencing will be postponed until at least September 10
- Fall competition in the sports of men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s tennis, rowing, men’s and women’s lacrosse, softball and baseball has been canceled
- Student-athletes in golf and tennis continue to be eligible to compete unattached
- Teams in all sports may continue practice at their institution’s discretion
Should Boston College be permitted to host home football games in 2020, the capacity at Alumni Stadium will be reduced, or games could be held without fans as a result of COVID-19. A final decision on both the capacity at Alumni Stadium and the inclusion of fans will be made at a later date.
“We continue to work closely with campus leaders, the Atlantic Coast Conference, and local, state, and federal public health authorities, in determining our plans to provide the safest environment possible inside Alumni Stadium for our student-athletes, coaches, staff and fans,” said William V. Campbell Director of Athletics Pat Kraft. “We will continue to engage with all parties as we move closer to the season, as safety is the top priority. We will communicate with our ticket holders and fans as soon as we have updates.”
Season ticket holders and Flynn Fund donors are reminded of the current options in place:
Season Ticket Payments
- Convert your season ticket payment to a tax-deductible donation that supports all 31 varsity teams
- Apply your season ticket payments towards next year’s season ticket costs
- Request a refund
- Convert your annual parking/donor-based seating gift to a fully tax-deductible, purely philanthropic contribution that supports all 31 varsity teams
- Apply your donations associated with parking or donor-based seating towards the 2021 season