AMES — The Iowa State athletics department announced on Monday it would allow 25,000 fans to attend Iowa State’s first football game against Louisiana.
On Wednesday, after receiving the public’s feedback, Iowa State has decided to reverse its decision and it will no longer allow fans at the first game.
“Our department staff and I have worked very closely with (Iowa State President) Dr. (Wendy) Wintersteen and her leadership team throughout the summer as we jointly developed plans for this fall’s football season,” Iowa State athletics director Jamie Pollard said in a news release. “Over the weekend, Dr. Wintersteen gave our working group the approval to move forward with the plans that were jointly developed. Our department announced those plans on Monday, which included allowing fans, who purchased season tickets, to attend the first game.
“President Wintersteen shared with me on Tuesday evening that, after weighing feedback she has received from the community, she has decided to reverse the decision. As a result, we will play the season opener without fans.”
This decision came about an hour after Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said she supported Iowa State’s plans to have fans in attendance for the first game.
Ames is currently the No. 1 COVID-19 hot spot in the nation after Iowa State students returned to campus. Iowa State officials need to see that current spike drop before they consider allowing fans.
ISU also announced Wednesday that 289 coronavirus tests were conducted within the athletics department Aug. 24-29 and there were eight positive results, all among the 207 athletes tested. There have been 51 total positive test results out of 1,652 given since June 8.
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“Although it is disappointing there won’t be fans at the opener, our institution’s leadership team is still committed to having spectators at future games, if it can be done safely,” Pollard said. “Weighing how our campus community responds to the recent surge in positive COVID cases will be a significant factor as to whether we can have fans at future games. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and make a decision regarding fans for the Oklahoma game (Oct. 3) at a later date.”
Pollard said Monday during a Zoom news conference that the decision to have fans was not set in stone and could change.
“What could change that between now and (the first game), I guess, would be campus having some other information become available to them,” Pollard said. “Or the student body between now and the Sept. 12 game radically having different results, or not improving or not wearing masks or doing whatever. I guess they could come back and say, ‘You know what? We’re not going to have fans for the game on the 12th.’”
Iowa State’s game against Louisiana kicks off at 11 a.m. and will be televised by ESPN.
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