STATESBORO, Ga. (WTOC) - Tormenta FC has been back to full team workouts since last week, preparing for a 20 game sprint of a season set to begin next weekend.
“I will tell you, we do expect to be opening up at home on July 18 at 8:00 p.m.,” says team owner and president Darin Van Tassell.
And Van Tassell says when the team plays at Erk Russell Park this summer, they plan to have fans in attendance. Though it will be thousands fewer than capacity.
“We’re probably limited to somewhere around 400 instead of 4000, and that’s a massive difference already,” he says. “It’s going to be an exclusive bunch. It’s going to be an exclusive group at the stadium.”
That drop in capacity is to ensure social distancing. The team will also require temperature checks and screenings for every person entering the stadium.
Van Tassell says masks are not being required, but are “highly recommended.” He adds the club will follow the mandate if one is made at a local or state level.
As the club prepares to host the first pro sporting event in Georgia since the shutdown, Van Tassell says the excitement within the club is building.
But he says this undertaking also comes with a level of responsibility.
“We’re a little bit the canary in the coal mine. We know we’re going first,” he says. “I think our responsibility isn’t just to keep fans safe. Our responsibility is to show and to demonstrate how we can do both in this environment.”
After four months of waiting and preparation, Van Tassell says he’s excited to get things kicked off. Even if it will be a much different environment at home.
“Our guys are good. Tormenta FC is a really good team,” he says. “I can’t wait to see how we match up with the rest of the league.”
USL League One hasn’t announced the team’s schedule yet, but Tormenta expects that to be made official later this week.