Iowa State backtracks, says no fans for football opener

Iowa State, which announced a plan on Monday to allow 25,000 fans to attend its Sept. 12 home opener against Louisiana, has reversed course and will no longer allow fans.

The school cited feedback from the community in announcing its decision.

Athletic director Jamie Pollard said on Wednesday that Dr. Wendy Wintersteen initially approved the plans that were formulated by the school's leadership group.

Capacity for the Cyclones' Jack Trice Stadium is 61,500. The SEC asked its teams to follow state or local guidelines, with none announcing more than 25 percent capacity, while no Big 12 teams have exceeded that as well. Clemson is allowing 19,000 fans, but several other ACC schools have said they will allow no fans. Iowa State's plans stood out at just over 40% capacity.

"President Wintersteen shared with me on Tuesday evening that, after weighing feedback she has received from the community, she has decided to reverse the decision," Pollard said. "As a result, we will play the season opener without fans."

According to CNN, the White House warned Iowa that it was in the coronavirus "red zone" this week and said it had the highest rate of new cases in the country.

Additionally, Iowa State said on Monday that 28.8% of the campus population that was tested in the second week of classes tested positive.

"Although it is disappointing there won't be fans at the opener, our institution's leadership team is still committed to having spectators at future games, if it can done safely," Pollard said Wednesday. "Weighing how our campus community responds to the recent surge in positive COVID cases will be a significant factor as to whether we can have fans at future games. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and make a decision regarding fans for the Oklahoma game [Oct. 3] at a later date."