UMass notebook: McGuirk will have no capacity limits for 2021 football season

Staff Writer
Published: 7/13/2021 8:25:27 PM

McGuirk Alumni Stadium will operate without capacity limits this fall, the school announced Tuesday.

The UMass football team will host six games at the facility, which seats 17,000 spectators. Boston College, Eastern Michigan, Toledo, UConn, Rhode Island and Maine are visiting Amherst in 2021. 

It’s the first time the Eagles have come west since 1982, when Doug Flutie led Boston College. That Sept. 11 game will be the home opener and UMass’ first home game since Nov. 23, 2019, against BYU. The Minutemen played four road contests last fall in an abbreviated season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

UMass will play all of its home games at McGuirk for the second consecutive season it has hosted home games after splitting time between Amherst and Gillette Stadium in Foxborough from 2014-18.

The Minutemen averaged 9,498 fans per game in 2019 with a high of 12,234 against UConn on Oct. 26. McGuirk was last sold out Sept. 27, 2014 against Bowling Green for the first home game of UMass’ Football Bowl Subdivision era at McGuirk.

ASSISTANT ALONG FOR THE RIDE – Mikayla Panko will join Danielle Henderson’s coaching staff with the UMass softball program, the team announced Tuesday.

“I’m excited and honored for the opportunity to return to my alma mater to work with the next generation of the UMass softball family,” Panko said in a release. “My time at UMass as a student-athlete has had a lasting impact on me and I am looking forward to helping cultivate the same positive and winning environment I got to experience as a student-athlete here.”

Panko graduated from UMass in 2015 and spent five seasons as an assistant at UMass Lowell with Henderson. She was a member of the last Minutewomen team that won the Atlantic 10 title and made the NCAA Tournament in 2012.

“I’m excited to have Mikayla as part of this staff,” Henderson said in a release. “She has the same love for the university as I do and I know she will work hard to help this team succeed.”

FIELD HOCKEY SLATE ESTABLISHED – The UMass field hockey team will open the 2021 season with three consecutive home games against Northeastern (Aug. 27), Maine (Aug. 29) and Vermont (Sept. 3).

The Minutewomen will face Power 5 schools Maryland (Sept. 10), Wake Forest (Sept. 19) and Boston College (Oct. 3) on the road.

Atlantic 10 play begins Sept. 17 at Davidson.

UMass went 7-4 during the spring season and did not reach the narrowed A-10 tournament. The Minutewomen will return 90 percent of their scoring from last year.

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