ASU will allow a limited number of fans to attend spring outdoor sporting events with precautions in place starting this weekend, Sun Devil Athletics announced on Thursday afternoon.
Season ticket holders will have priority for seating at baseball games. Up to an estimated 300 single-game tickets will be made available for this weekend's baseball games based on the remaining seats available, according to a Sun Devil Athletics spokesperson.
"Following the approval from the Pac-12 Conference and university presidents, and in consultation with local and university health officials, we’re excited to announce the implementation of limited fan attendance at outdoor athletic competitions, beginning with baseball and women’s soccer this weekend," Vice President for University Athletics Ray Anderson said in a statement Thursday.
According to ASU's announcement, protocols include:
- Venues will fill up to 20-25% capacity,
- Tickets are distributed in seating pods of up to six seats that are located at least 6 feet apart,
- Fans older than two years old will be required to wear face coverings at all times except while eating or drinking. Gaiters and masks with valves do not qualify as acceptable face coverings,
- Sun Devil Athletics will provide a disposable surgical mask if one arrives with a non-compliant face covering,
- Fans must remain in their assigned seating location while watching,
- All tickets will be delivered on mobile devices,
- Unavailable seats will be secured or have cardboard fan cutouts,
- There will be no "General Admission" seating available for Spring 2021.
According to the announcement, "deep cleaning of all facilities" will be performed before and after each game. Staff at the venues will also clean high-touch areas throughout games.
Students attending baseball games will be designated to two sections and seated in groups of two, according to the spokesperson.
This upcoming weekend will serve as a "soft launch" for fan attendance, and ASU will evaluate how to move forward in the coming weeks, according to the spokesperson.
The Pac-12 Conference permitted attendance for friends and family of players and staff at sporting events since last October, but attendance at ASU sporting events will be permitted for the public for the first time since all athletic competitions were canceled last year due to COVID-19.
Arizona has reported under 2,000 daily COVID-19 cases each of the past 12 days after recording over 4,000 cases each day in January, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services and the COVID Tracking Project.
As of March 2, over 20% of adults in Maricopa County have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to Maricopa County Public Health.
"The health and safety of all parties remains our number one priority and we ask our supporters to be patient and comply with the new protocols to ensure the safest environment for all," Anderson said in the statement. "This is a big step forward for the Sun Devil community and with diligence from all, we look forward to seeing you in the stands supporting our Sun Devils.”
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