Iowa State Cyclones football will look a bit different this season. As major sporting bodies assess how to put on games safely, limited fan attendance is a route some organizations are leaning towards – including Iowa State.
University Athletic Director Jamie Pollard announced this week that football games at Jack Trice Stadium will be played at roughly half the stadium’s capacity. With proper social distancing guidelines enforced, only 30,000 fans are to be admitted games rather than a sold-out 60,500 in attendance.
“Attendance at Jack Trice Stadium would be limited to approximately 50% capacity in order to meet the current guidelines established by state and local officials,” Pollard wrote in a letter published on Iowa State’s athletics website. “Those guidelines may be adjusted as time passes. Right now, we are planning as though the capacity of our stadium would be limited to 30,000 spectators.”
Pollard added that 22,000 season tickets have already been renewed for the upcoming season. To fill the remaining 8,000 seats, other season ticket holders are given the priority to attend so long as they meet a June 12 deadline to renew their package and make a Cyclone Club donation. Barring any adjustments to the current guidelines that would potentially allow for more than 30,000 in attendance, single-game tickets likely won’t be available for sale.
“We will establish, and eventually communicate to you, the mitigation measures that we will implement this fall,” Pollard said of what the in-stadium atmosphere could look like. “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.”
Iowa State’s announcement follows a similar move by the Pittsburgh Steelers. While there has been no guideline put in place by the NFL to reduce attendance, the Steelers opted to sell only half of their single-game ticket inventory in anticipation of any social distancing put in place this fall.