Iowa State reverses course, says no fans at football opener vs. Cajuns
Iowa State will play its season opener against UL without fans in the stands at Jack Trice Stadium, a dramatic reversal from its announced plan Monday to allow for 25,000 fans.
"Over the weekend, (university president Wendy) Wintersteen gave our working group the approval to move forward with the plans that were jointly developed," Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard said in a statement released by the school. "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."
The Cyclones will play the Ragin' Cajuns on Sept. 12 at Jack Trice Stadium, which typically holds 60,000 fans.
Iowa State's plan to allow for up to 25,000 fans with mitigation guidelines came under sharp criticism as it was announced the same day Ames was identified as the nation's worst coronavirus hotspot. That earlier announcement also came a day after the state had been provided guidance by the White House that more drastic measures were needed to slow the spread of the novel virus within Iowa.
Dr. John Paschen, the chair of the Story County Board of Health, decried the original decision by Iowa State as "irresponsible" on Monday.