Campus athletics welcomes back fans to stands
Sam Tapper – Editor-in-Chief
After a year-long hiatus due to all that transpired with the COVID-19 pandemic, fans are finally allowed to cheer on the Owls in person once again, as of April 10.
According to a press release on the Athletic Department’s website, spectators will be allowed at all home games at The Ballpark, Pelz Field and Jess Dow Field for baseball, softball and women’s lacrosse.
“We’re very excited to allow the families and friends of our student-athletes to attend games this spring,” Interim Director of Athletics Matt Letkowski said in the release. “We know that has been a frustrating time for all of our student-athletes and their families and we thank the University leadership as well as the Northeast 10 Conference to allow us the flexibility to allow spectators.”
The decision was made by the university with approval from the NE10, according to the release. For the time being, spectators will be limited to members of the campus community, as well as the families of the Owls’ student athletes. Any spectators from visiting schools will not be permitted at this time.
“Individuals from outside of the SCSU campus community will not be allowed [at] sporting events on Southern’s campus at this time,” Sports Information Director Ken Sweeten said in a statement on April 8.
All spectators in attendance will be expected to follow all COVID-19 health and safety protocols, which includes wearing masks and social distancing for the entirety of the contest, according to the release.
Due to logistical concerns, the release said, spectators will not yet be allowed to attend men’s and women’s track and field meets, which meant the Jim Barber Invitational at Jess Dow Field on April 11 remained without spectators in the stands. However, Letkowski said the goal is to get fans back for track and field before the end of the season.
“Naturally, we hope that all spectators respect and adhere to our guidelines,” Letkowski said in the release. “It’s important that everyone follows the rules to allow us to continue to allow spectators. We hope to do so for track & field at their final home meet as well.”