For weeks, Allen Fieldhouse at the University of Kansas has been operating under a mask recommendation, but will now return to operating under a mask requirement, per a Douglas County order.
According to a message from chancellor Doug Girod shared on the KU athletics website, if fans do not comply with the mandate, additional measures will have to be taken, which include closing concessions and decreasing fan attendance at men’s basketball games.
"Please do your part by properly wearing a mask at basketball games to ensure Allen Fieldhouse remains the best home court advantage in all of college basketball," the athletic department said.
In terms of what is expected of fans, and the consequences of noncompliance, Kansas leaves little doubt. Here is the complete FAQ:
What should fans expect when attending a game?
- Upon parking and walking to the arena, fans will be reminded with signage that masks must be worn inside Allen Fieldhouse.
- Fans will be required to have a mask on and properly worn when entering the Fieldhouse.
- After passing through security, fans will notice additional event staff who have been placed around the concourses to monitor masks being worn at all times.
What will happen if I don’t want to wear a mask?
- Enforcement will include fan removal from Allen Fieldhouse.
- Including: Three strike policy
- Strike 1: Usher warning
- Strike 2: Event Staff Supervisor warning
- Strike 3: Removal Team (public safety and event supervisor) – these are employees are trained in the art of “ejection”
- It is important to remember the reason behind this mask mandate. KU and Allen Fieldhouse are looking to play an important role in protecting the community by doing our part to slow the spread of the highly contagious COVID-19 variant. If our fans comply, as we expect them all to, our hope is to significantly slow the spread of this virus.
How will fans be removed?
- Fans will be given a verbal warning to wear their mask by a member of the event staff. If they do not comply, a supervisor will be called to provide another warning. If the fan does not comply after that, a member of the enforcement removal team will be called to escort the patron from the building.
- Additionally, if fans do not wear masks as mandated, there is significant risk that attendance would be decreased at upcoming games.
Is this similar to that previous mask mandate from the fall semester that, quite frankly, didn’t appear to be strictly enforced?
- Fans were not removed under the KU mask mandate implemented in August.
- However, that will no longer be the case with this Douglas County mandate. If fans do not comply with this mandate, they will be removed from Allen Fieldhouse.
How is this different from the original mask mandate that was changed to recommended only a couple of weeks ago?
- On Jan. 7, Douglas County implemented an emergency mask mandate for all indoor public spaces to protect the community against the latest COVID-19 surge.
- The county mandate applies to Allen Fieldhouse, so masks will once again be required at all events inside the Fieldhouse.
If I purchase concessions and hold food and drink at my seat, do I have to wear a mask?
- Yes, when not ACTIVELY eating or drinking.
- If individuals do not wear a mask or try to pretend they are actively eating or drinking, there is a strong possibility that concessions could be shut down.
- There are a number of arenas around the country that have closed concessions at basketball games for this exact reason.