Kansas State received approval on Monday from the Riley County Commission to open Bill Snyder Family Stadium to approximately 25 percent capacity this fall for Wildcat football games.
During a work session at Monday’s meeting, commissioners reviewed K-State’s plan to open the stadium at a reduced capacity, which includes new protocols – including the requirement that all fans must wear face coverings and that no tailgating be permitted – which will be implemented to provide the safest environment possible under guidelines pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic. The commissioners voted to modify proposed Health Order #18 to remove a provision that prohibited facilities above a capacity of 2,000 from opening.
“We are appreciative of the consideration the commissioners gave to all facets of our plan and their ultimate endorsement,” Athletics Director Gene Taylor said. “Our plan is very detailed in how we intend to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 spread at a football game. We are implementing several new policies and will be strict in our enforcement in our best efforts to accomplish playing football games safely,” Taylor added.
Meanwhile, Taylor said the department has developed new ticket options that will be unveiled to season ticket holders this week.
Following are the new guidelines and safety measures that will be in place for the 2020 season:
In accordance with City of Manhattan ordinance and Kansas State University policy, fans must wear face coverings over their mouths and noses in order to enter Bill Snyder Family Stadium and continue wearing them inside the stadium where 6-foot social distancing cannot be maintained. Fans should provide their own face coverings; K-State will not provide face coverings.
Tailgating will be prohibited in parking lots controlled by K-State Athletics and satellite lots operated by Kansas State University groups in order to reduce the risk of large gatherings. Parking lots will open in conjunction with stadium gates two hours prior to kickoff and fans will be encouraged to immediately enter the stadium once parked.
To assure the safest environment possible, once inside Bill Snyder Family Stadium fans will not be permitted to re-enter the stadium should they elect to exit. This will help eliminate unnecessary congestion at gates, particularly prior to and after halftime.
With tailgating and re-entry into the stadium eliminated, beer and wine will be available for purchase for the first time ever in the general seating sections of the stadium at multiple locations on the concourse and concession stands.
Other Safety Measures
Hand sanitizing stations will be located throughout the stadium, as well as signage, to encourage social distancing. Also, stadium employees will be required to wear protective gear and face coverings.
“These are unprecedented times and we want our fans to feel safe and comfortable when they attend games this season,” Taylor said. “While there is no reasonable way to guarantee that no fan could contract the virus, we will take every measure that we can to help. We all know our fans play a tremendous role in making our gameday environment one of the best in the Big 12, but ultimately each fan needs to make their own individual decision to attend games or not.”