Two days after announcing that 25,000 fans would be allowed to attend Iowa State University's Sept. 12 football opener, the school said Wednesday that it "proposed too much, too soon." Now, no fans will attend the game against Louisiana.
As reported by the Ames Tribune, ISU athletic director Jamie Pollard said Monday that the athletic department had worked with university president Wendy Wintersteen’s team of medical experts to make the determination to welcome fans with mitigation efforts, such as mandatory face coverings, socially distant seating and no tailgating.
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“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,” Pollard said in a statement released by the school Wednesday. “As a result, we will play the season opener without fans.”
This week's dramatic reversal came against the backdrop of Ames ascending to the top of a list of coronavirus hot spots based on new cases over the previous two weeks (Ames ranks fourth on the updated list). The about-face was welcomed by Dr. John Paschen, chair of the Story County Board of Health, who on Monday called Iowa State's original plan "irresponsible."
The game against Louisiana will be played at 11 a.m. in a nearly empty Jack Trice Stadium (capacity 61,500) and will be broadcast by ESPN.
“After receiving considerable concerns from the community about the plans for the season-opening football game, we realized that we were proposing too much, too soon,” Wintersteen said in a statement Wednesday afternoon.