It appears that we’re going to get college football in the fall, at least in most of the Power Five, like Iowa State’s Big 12. One of the major questions moving forward is centered on attendance for those games.
Schools and administrators are a bit all over the board with regards to fans in attendance for the fall. Much of it is hard to know, given the constantly evolving health situation throughout the country. College football being the major sport that impacts every corner of the country presents its own specific challenges.
Some schools in more affected areas may go without fans as a whole. Others are prepared to space fans out as much as possible. For Iowa State, which has a capacity of 61,500 at Jack Trice Stadium, the answer appears to be the latter.
Today, athletic director Jamie Pollard presented the school’s plan for attendance, one of the first major programs to do so. The Cyclones are planning to have attendance capped at 30,000, and opening things up to season ticket holders only, assuming they hit that number. The program put out its plan today.
Pollard Message To Cyclone Fans https://t.co/cVNjIlvAi2
— Iowa State Athletics (@CycloneATH) May 26, 2020
“Right now, we are planning as though the capacity of our stadium would be limited to 30,000 spectators,” Pollard said in today’s release. “As of today, approximately 22,000 season tickets have been renewed for this fall. That leaves us approximately 8,000 seats to be filled.”
Iowa State expects to sell those final 8,000 season tickets, which would hit the hard cap that has been proposed. Fans have until June 12 to renew or buy season tickets, and the team does not anticipate selling single-game tickets. The school will also honor the season ticket priority of previous ticket holders who pass on 2020 tickets for the 2021 season, and will refund or defer tickets for those who do buy for 2020, but are then not comfortable attending games.
Lastly, we want to assure you that our staff is working to make the game day environment as safe as possible. After consulting with campus officials, we have concluded there is no reasonable way to guarantee that no one will contract the COVID-19 virus. Trying to adhere to a standard of absolute protection is simply not reasonable. We would either be held accountable for being far too restrictive or, more likely, not restrictive enough.
We will establish, and eventually communicate to you, the mitigation measures that we will implement this fall. Those decisions are currently in the development stage and will be evaluated and tweaked as we learn more about the virus in the coming weeks. It will ultimately be up to each attendee to decide whether they are comfortable attending games given the mitigation strategies, we will implement. That decision will remain a personal choice that all attendees need to make.
Hopefully college football will be able to go forward with significantly mitigated risk, but for many, attending college football games will be a non-starter this fall regardless.
Iowa State is set to open its season on Sept. 5 against South Dakota. They’ll go on to host UNLV, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Kansas State, Baylor, and West Virginia.