The Latest: Memphis expanding capacity for football games

Fans wear face masks and use social distancing during the first half of an NCAA college football game between Texas and TCU, Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:

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The Memphis Tigers will be allowed to more than double their home crowd to nearly 12,000 fans in the stands at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium starting with their Oct. 17 game against UCF.

The university announced the move Tuesday after the Shelby County Health Department loosened restrictions requiring 12 feet between fans to 6 feet.

Athletic director Laird Veatch says he can’t wait to have more fans on hand for an important game, an increase possible because fans followed safety protocols during the Tigers’ last home game.

Memphis fell out of the AP Top 25 after a loss at SMU last weekend in the Tigers’ first game since their opener Sept. 5. The Tigers had to postpone a game with Houston until December and cancel a game with UT-San Antonio due to positive coronavirus tests and contact tracing. Memphis recently laid off 19 people inside the athletic department, with furloughs planned through the end of the current fiscal year.

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The Cincinnati Bengals will be allowed to double their home crowd to 12,000 for the remaining six games at Paul Brown Stadium.