CEDAR FALLS — After a Wednesday meeting with multiple agencies, the Iowa High School Athletic Association has decided to further restrict attendance at the state football semifinals, according to a document released to The Gazette.
Due to increased COVID-19 positivity rates in Black Hawk County, seating capacity is now limited to 2,400 per game, which is roughly 15-percent capacity of the UNI-Dome.
The decision was made after IHSAA officials met with representatives from UNI, Black Hawk County Public Health, the Iowa Department of Education and the governor’s office.
“Earlier today, UNI asked if we could visit, and President (Mark) Nook had the right people in the room,” IHSAA executive director Tom Keating said Wednesday afternoon. “We talked through a few things, and this is where UNI and Black Hawk County felt comfortable.
“Obviously, we support their concerns. We would love to have as many fans in the Dome as possible, but we get it.”
Fans must purchase tickets online, using a promotional code given to the schools. There will be no walk-up sales at the Dome.
Wednesday’s news is more restrictive than Tuesday, when the governor’s office and the IHSAA considered the UNI-Dome an “outdoor venue” and that attendance could be capped around 7,000.
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“After the meeting, everybody is comfortable with the plan we have,” Keating said. “We’ll implement that for the next three days.”
The semifinal series consists of 12 games — four each Thursday, Friday and Saturday — five of which contain Gazette-area teams.
Montezuma faces Remsen St. Mary’s at 9 a.m. Thursday in an 8-Player contest, then Cedar Rapids Xavier faces North Scott in a 3A battle at 7:30 p.m.
Iowa City Regina tangles with Saint Ansgar in a Class A game at 9 a.m. Friday, then Saturday battles include Sigourney-Keota and Ida Grove OABCIG (1A, 12:30 p.m.) and Waukon and Monroe PCM (2A, 7:30).
The six championship games are Nov. 19-20. Information regarding ticket sales for next week’s finals will be determined Monday.
Keating said that, barring an order from the governor’s office and/or the Department of Public Health, the games will go on, even if it means no fans or moving to an outdoor venue.
“We will do everything we can to complete the season,” he said.
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