When the Broncos played the Brigham Young University (BYU) Cougars on Nov. 6, they were not just playing in front of cardboard cutouts like they did in week one. Their week three game was different, playing in front of a live crowd for the first time since 2019.
Roughly 1,100 people were allowed into the stadium. A large portion of the crowd were students who won a lottery to be allowed to attend the game. Entry into this lottery took place on the Wednesday before the game, and the winners, along with one guest of their choosing, were emailed later that night.
This email congratulated all winners, and listed out all the procedures that the potential fans would have to go through to be granted access into Albertsons Stadium. All fans took a COVID-19 test the day before the game.
When fans showed up for the test, they filled out a COVID-19 symptoms questionnaire before the test. The questionnaire was taken and needed to be passed again on game day.
I was one of the fans that was able to enter the lottery and attend the game, and was the first time I had taken a COVID-19 test. The current tests are administered through the nose and are less invasive in order to make the process easier and more pleasant.
When I got to the stadium, I entered through the northeast entrance where students are normally sent. There was a worker at the front of the line that took the temperature of all attendees. We were then allowed to go up to a table where we would show our student IDs, and then be checked off a list that confirmed we passed our COVID-19 tests.
Once in the stadium, I was directed to my seat. There were pairs of stadium seats that were spaced out across the second level of the east side of the stadium, as well as in the south endzone.
It was an odd sight to see. The large stadium that would normally hold 36,000 fans looked pretty much empty. It was eerie, and it was weird being spaced so far away from everyone, but like many people, I was happy to be able to watch a game in person.
“[I was] just glad to be back at the Blue. It’s been over a year for me… and it’s cold, but I couldn’t be happier to be honest. It was kind of the first thing I noticed when I got here. How little amount of people there is and how spread out we are. Looking at the band and seeing them all spread out. I’m used to kind of just a cluster,” said junior physical education major Avery Singer.
“It is hard not to miss the crowd and the atmosphere that a packed stadium brings,” Peyton Worley, a freshman and microbiology student experienced his first in-person Bronco game.
“It’s nice being here. It’s sad not being with everybody. Not being able to talk to everyone and sit where you want,” Singer said.