(Photo of KFC Yum! Center: Christopher Fryer - Louisville Business First)
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Normalcy has officially returned for collegiate athletic events hosted by Louisville. The university announced Tuesday that due to recent "advancements in state and national health guidelines", all home athletic venues are returning to 100-percent capacity next season.
"As the positive momentum continues around the local health climate, we are thrilled to welcome Card Nation back home to ALL of our venues for this upcoming academic year," Vince Tyra said in a statement. "As grateful as we are to our fans for sticking with us from their homes this past year, it'll be incredible to see our teams competing in front of live, full, loud home crowds here in The Ville. We need you, Cards fans…no one cheers like us. Let's have some fun."
Last month, it was announced that all football games hosted at Cardinal Stadium would be returning to full capacity, fueling speculation that other venues and sports would follow. Men's and women's basketball games at the KFC Yum! Center, as well as men's and women's soccer matches at Dr. Mark and Cincy Lynn Stadium are among the sports where restrictions on fan attendance have been lifted.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the university instituted fan attendance restrictions, as well as additional protocols, across all venues during the 2020-21 athletic year. Cardinal Stadium and Jim Patterson Stadium was limited to 20% capacity, while the KFC Yum! Center was held at 15%. Additional fans were eventually allowed for Dr. Mark and Cincy Lynn Stadium and Jim Patterson Stadium as COVID restrictions began to ease up.
Kentucky governor Andy Beshear lifted the majority of the state's COVID-related capacity restrictions, as well as the statewide mask mandate, back on June 11. The mandate remains for just a handful of high-risk settings, such as public transit, healthcare and long-term care facilities.
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