Clemson won’t hold in-person classes on Aug. 29 because of football home opener

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Clemson University has told students, faculty and staff they do not need to show up for class when the school plays its first home football game of the 2019 season on Thursday, Aug. 29.

Though there will be no in-classroom instruction at any of Clemson’s campuses, the school says it’s not a day off. Rather, it’s an “eLearning day,” where instructors who decide to hold classes will have to do so online, according to a release from Clemson.

“As you might imagine, expected crowds in excess of 80,000 arriving to campus on a weekday for the season opening football game provides significant challenges related to traffic and parking, significantly effecting normal campus operations,” spokesman Joe Galbraith said in an email.

The Aug. 29 game against Georgia Tech will also be the first televised game on ESPN’s new Atlantic Coast Conference Network, according to a press release from the ACC.

“Playing the season opener against Georgia Tech is a tremendous opportunity to showcase our program and university as it is the first live broadcast for the ACC Network,” Galbraith said. “Non-Saturday football games are unusual at Clemson as we last played a Thursday home game in 2013.”

Clemson has already made a significant investment in preparing itself for the ACC Network.

For example, last summer the school purchased seven new Panasonic AK-HC5000 High Speed Cameras, according to an article in Sports Video Group. The online sales price for that camera model is roughly $25,000 a piece.

The total cost for upgrading Clemson’s equipment for the ACC network has projected at $5.5 million, according to a 2017 article from the Greenville News. That’s consistent with other ACC schools, which have spent millions of dollars preparing their facilities for the network’s launch, according to North Carolina-based SportsChannel8.

The schools are investing in new equipment believing the new network will substantial increase their revenue. The conference hasn’t disclosed how much it expects revenue to increase.

In the 2016-17 school year, the ACC’s average payout for its 14 full-time members $26.6 million, according to the Associated Press. The SEC, which has its own network, distributed nearly $41 million per school that year, while the Big Ten averaged $37 million.