Pollard announces updates for fans at Jack Trice Stadium and fall sports

Athletic Director Jamie Pollard answering questions from the media at a press conference Sept. 24, 2019.

Matt Belinson

Iowa State Athletic Director Jamie Pollard released updated plans for Iowa State athletics regarding the fall sports season in a letter to fans on Friday.

The letter comes a day after the NCAA announced all fall championships would be canceled this season due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The sports affected by the decisions include volleyball, soccer and cross country.

Along with providing an update on where those sports stand, Pollard also updated fans on possible seating capacity arrangements and other new guidelines at Jack Trice Stadium this fall.

New protocols at Jack Trice Stadium

The letter penned by Pollard to fans gave an update on new policies that would be in place for all who attend football games at Jack Trice Stadium this fall.

Face coverings will be required at all times for all individuals who will be at games. Masks must be worn in club sections, suites, press tower and general seating in the stadium.

New parking measures will be put in place to reduce the amount of cars and RVs parked in the parking lot outside of the stadium to avoid large gatherings of crowds. Fans will be able to access all parking lots two hours before and after kickoff.

Tailgating will not be allowed and RVs and buses will not be allowed to park in any university-owned parking lots. Additionally, Pollard said there will be no tent parties or gatherings on stadium grounds, including tent row north of the stadium.

Along with the new protocols in regards to parking lot usage, concession services will be offered in the stadium at a limited basis this fall. Pollard said concession operations will be limited to water and soda only with no food being served. No food or alcohol will be served in the Jack Trice Club or the Sukup End Zone Club.

Fans will be allowed to bring their own snacks (provided the items adhere to Iowa State and Jack Trice Stadium’s clear bag policy) into the stadium. Coolers will not be allowed inside the stadium. 

Three possible options for fans attending games

One of the most looming decisions still remains for Pollard and the athletic department: Will fans be allowed in the stadium to watch games and if so, how many will there be?

Pollard outlined the three possible options for the athletic department when it comes to having fans in the stands this fall.

1. No fans attending games

This option would only allow for student-athletes’ families and friends to be in attendance for games.

2. Split Season

The split season option would allow ticket holders to sit in their current seating location but would limit stadium capacity to 25 percent. This plan would require assigning each season ticket holder three of the six scheduled home games. 

Pollard said Iowa State has already sold season tickets for possible 50 percent capacity, so by limiting capacity to 25 percent means each season ticket would include three games.

3. Full season

The third and final approach would be the most ideal for Pollard and the athletic department to implement.

This would keep stadium capacity at 50 percent (the fans who have already purchased season tickets) but reseat the entire stadium, using each ticket holder’s Cyclone Club level and priority points, to create as much social distance between ticket holders as possible.

Those with tickets would most likely not get their normal seat location but they would be able to attend all six games.

“It is our goal to provide the student-athletes and coaches the opportunity to play football games in a safe environment with the largest crowd possible,” Pollard said in the letter to fans. “The safety of all participants, fans and workers remains our top priority. That is the reason such thorough and comprehensive virus mitigation and capacity plans are being vetted.”

Additional fall and winter sports update

NCAA President Mark Emmert announced Thursday that fall championships except for football would be canceled this year. This decision means that athletes who play soccer, volleyball and cross country in the Big 12, ACC and SEC would not have the opportunity to compete for a national championship this fall.

“We are working closely with the Big 12 Conference and our head coaches to determine whether those three sports will compete this fall,” Pollard said.

Pollard also mentioned that neither the NCAA nor the Big 12 have made any decision on winter sports (basketball, wrestling, swimming & diving, gymnastics and track & field).

Pollard said he believes those respective seasons would not start until Jan. 1, 2021.