DAPER closes outdoor facilities

Closing outdoor facilities ‘reinforces the need to refrain from group activities’ and encourages social distancing

The Department of Athletics, Physical Education, and Recreation (DAPER) closed the Steinbrenner Stadium, Roberts Field, Jack Barry Field, and the DuPont Tennis Courts Friday to “help safeguard community members against the spread” of COVID-19. 

Vice President and Dean for Student Life Suzy Nelson and DAPER head G. Anthony Grant wrote to the MIT community that the decision was made “because people have not been following public health guidance about social distancing.”

Closing outdoor facilities “reinforces the need to refrain from group activities such as soccer and tennis” encourages social distancing, Grant said, according to a statement on DAPER’s website.

Killian Court and the walkway along the Charles River remain open, but visitors “should maintain at least six feet of distance between themselves and others at all times,” Nelson and Grant wrote.

Nelson and Grant wrote that “DAPER will keep open some access points on Vassar Street and Amherst Alley” for students who walk across fields to reach other parts of campus. However, the Steinbrenner Stadium main gates will be locked and all tennis and soccer nets will be removed.

Additionally, the statement encouraged all community members to follow Massachusetts Gov. Baker’s guidelines and MIT Medical’s advice on protecting oneself from COVID-19.

“We will continue to monitor our outdoor spaces, and if individuals don't comply with public health directives,” MIT and DAPER may take “further action to limit the potential” for COVID-19 spread on MIT campus, the statement wrote.

The Briggs Softball Field and the Fran O'Brien Baseball Field closed in March. DAPER indoor facilities closed March 16.

Community members with questions should contact Grant at