Iowa State University Athletics on Wednesday announced it has reversed its decision to allow fans in the stands for the Cyclones’ football home opener, CBS affiliate KCCI-TV reports. The school had initially announced on Monday that it would allow 25,000 people to attend the game.
In a statement, athletic director Jamie Pollard said university president Wendy Wintersteen reversed the decision “after weighing feedback she has received from the community.”
“Our department has always taken great pride in working hand-in-hand with the university and this situation is no different,” Pollard added. “We are in this together and will do everything we can to support Dr. Wintersteen and her leadership team in their efforts to lead our institution during very challenging times.”
Pollard said they hope to have fans attend games later in the season, as long as it is safe to do so. The season opener against LA-Lafayette is set for September 12.
Iowa is facing rising COVID-19 numbers, and Ames, where the university is located, has the second worst coronavirus outbreak in the nation in relation to population size, according to the New York Times.
The initial plan was to allow a maximum of 25,000 season ticket holders to attend the game at Jack Trice Stadium. All attendees would have been required to wear face coverings at all times. Tailgating would not have been allowed, and fans were told not to “gather in the parking lots to socialize.” Ticket holders were also informed their seats had most likely changed, and that they should adhere to the new seating arrangements in order to maintain social distancing.
Iowa State is a member of the Big 12 athletic conference, one of the three Power Five conferences that elected to go ahead with fall sports in 2020. The Big Ten and the Pac-12 opted to postpone fall athletics.
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