As the temperature drops and the leaves begin to change colors, fall sports linger on the horizon. Since the recent outbreak of COVID-19, Kansas State’s athletic department has made numerous changes, attempting to give fans the best experience possible this season while still being safe.
“Game day in 2020 will obviously be very different from what we have come to expect at K-State,” Casey Scott, executive associate AD for internal operations and event management, said. “The football, soccer and volleyball teams have all taken precautions to reduce the spreading of the virus.”
On game days, fans will be required to wear a facial covering over their mouth and nose in order to enter the stadium. This behavior must be maintained inside the sporting complex.
“Fans with a medical condition, mental health condition, deaf or hard of hearing or have a disability that prevents them from wearing a face covering will be required to wear a face shield as a reasonable modification,” Scott said. “Children five and under are not required to wear a face covering. Masks are just one of many precautions used to help keep Wildcat Nation safe and healthy this season.”
If fans are disobeying the mandate on Saturday, Scott said stadium staff are prepared.
“As we would with any fan failing to abide to a stadium policy, our stadium staff will seek compliance first by reminding them to put on their mask and continue wearing it unless actively eating or drinking in their seat,” Scott said. “If a fan continues to ignore the policy after being reminded, they may be asked to leave the stadium.”
Fans will also not be allowed to tailgate at any sporting events this season. K-State Athletics prohibits typical tailgating items such as lawn chairs, coolers, grills, tent canopies and tables.
Additionally, fans will not be allowed to congregate at their vehicles to eat, drink or socialize prior to the start of the game.
“Our staff will encourage them to park, gather their game gear and walk directly to the stadium to enter,” Scott said.
Additionally, fans can’t to re-enter the stadium if they choose to leave at any point. This helps eliminate unnecessary congestion at gates, particularly before and after halftime.
All stadium concession stands will be open. However, service lines will be spaced to maintain social distancing.
“Seating has been assigned by section, with fans instructed to sit general-admission style and socially distanced from other pods of fans,” Scott said.
Just like anything that has happened this year, Bill Snyder Family Stadium game day procedures are subject to change.
One big question is if these procedures will prevent the spread of COVID-19 during a K-State football game. The first opportunity to see will be this 11 a.m. on Saturday as the Wildcats take on Arkansas State at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.