Iowa State University announced this week it will allow 25,000 fans into Jack Trice Stadium for the the university’s first football game on September 12.
Iowa State University Director of Athletics Jamie Pollard made the announcement Monday despite criticism from the county board of health director.
Pollard thanked the Board of Health for their input and added, “I’m sure Dr. Paschen feel strongly about where he is coming from, but there are other people in this community that feel just as strongly that he’s not correct.”
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Iowa State Athletics announced Monday that it will host 25,000 fans at Jack Trice Stadium for the Cyclones’ first football game of the 2020-21 season.
The decision comes despite reporting from the New York Times that lists Ames as having the worst COVID-19 outbreak in the country in relation to population size.
Iowa State University Director of Athletics said the school “still feel(s) that we can move forward” with plans to allow fans at sporting events.
Dr. John Paschen, the Chairman of the Story County Board of Health, said in a statement that he is “sorely disappointed” in the decision and that, in the midst of rising cases in Story County, he finds the decision a danger to the community at large.
Paschen said in a statement to KCCI, “I am sorely disappointed with this decision. In the midst of our rising cases in Story County I find this decision irresponsible and a danger to our community at large.
“The idea that this will be OK because they will be outside is not based on any sound medical facts, especially when you consider the activity of fans at sporting events(ie: screaming and yelling). We on the Story County Board of Health have not had any input in mitigation measures that will be followed at the game and am not even sure what measures will be taken.
“The rest of the world has played to empty stadiums during this outbreak–why can’t we?”
“I’m sure Dr. Paschen feel strongly about where he is coming from, but there are other people in this community that feel just as strongly that he’s not correct,” Pollard said.