Iowa State will allow fans to attend its season opener at Jack Trice Stadium next month amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Cyclones announced Monday that approximately 25,000 spectators are expected to attend their Sept. 12 matchup against Louisiana.
In a letter to fans, athletic director Jamie Pollard said the crowd will consist of season ticket holders only. Everyone in attendance must wear a face covering at all times, and anyone who refuses to wear one will be denied access and/or removed from the stadium. No tailgating will be permitted, and Pollard asked everyone to "honor other fans' wishes for physical distancing."
"An important factor in the decision to allow fans is our belief that Cyclone fans are willing to adhere to our mitigation measures," Pollard wrote. "The purpose of this letter is to ask for your support in helping create a safe environment while also providing our team an impactful home field advantage. This is an incredible opportunity for Iowa State University to showcase its ability to successfully navigate the challenges associated with large outdoor events during a pandemic."
Pollard said if the mitigation actions are successful, the Cyclones will allow season ticket holders to attend the Oct. 3 game against Oklahoma. If Iowa State determines mitigation measures were not followed adequately at the first game, no fans will be allowed at games for the rest of the season.
Iowa State's announcement comes shortly after The New York Times identified Ames, Iowa, as a coronavirus "hotspot" city over the weekend. The Times reported Ames, which has a population of 97,117, had 964 cases in the last two weeks. Iowa City, home to the University of Iowa, was second on the list.
Iowa State began holding in-person classes on Aug. 17 and has no current plans to move to online-only instruction.