Shockers Exploring Larger Arena for Fan Distancing

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Wichita State may be looking for a larger basketball venue to allow for more distancing between fans at games.

Athletic director Darron Boatright told Bob Lutz on KFH Radio that WSU has explored the possibility of hosting games at Intrust Bank Arena in downtown Wichita. Intrust has about 5,000 more seats than Koch Arena, where the team currently plays.

“That’s just part of being thorough and evaluating all of your options and seeing what makes sense for us during these unprecedented times,” Boatright told The Wichita Eagle. “(Hosting games at Intrust) is not something we’re leaning toward, it’s just something we could have available.”

Boatright also said the school is currently looking at models that would see anywhere from 20 percent to 50 percent capacity at games. He has reservations about playing games in an empty arena.

“I think it’s very difficult to say that it’s safe enough for student-athletes to participate when it’s not safe enough for fans to attend,” Boatright said on The Drive. “If no fans are allowed, I don’t see how you play anything. I can’t, with good conscience, put someone else’s children in that position and have a justifiable response when mom or dad asks, ‘Why is it safe enough for my child, but not safe enough for anyone else?’ 

“When you don’t have a good enough answer to that question, I think it’s going to be difficult.”

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