Boise State Athletics started their week off with news for Bronco fans, spectators are allowed back into ExtraMile Arena and other campus sporting venues.
As of Feb. 16, Boise State’s Athletic Department and Boise health officials announced in a statement that they have given Boise State Athletics the green light in allowing fans at their games. With the ever-changing COVID-19 guidelines, this comes a week after health officials agreed to start allowing athlete’s families into games.
Students will now be able to join a raffle for each home game. People on tiers one and two, including players and staff, will need a negative COVID-19 test. Fans and staff sitting in tier three will not need to show a negative COVID-19 test sitting prior to entering the game, according to a Boise State Athletics press release. Fans entering the venues must partake in a temperature check before entering.
Jeremiah Dickey, Boise State’s Athletic director, shared in a statement the protocols and policies Boise State basketball and ExtraMile Arena will follow.
“Knowing we can provide both a safe environment while playing in front of Bronco Nation makes this an opportunity I know our student-athletes will be excited for,” Dickey said.
ExtraMile Arena will not be close to its maximum capacity, but will allow 900 fans at men’s and women’s basketball games for the remainder of the season. These fans will be socially distanced amongst each other in pods. The pods will be grouped together in either two or four people sections and will not be mixed with other groups of spectators. Each pod will be separated by a singular row and six feet apart.
Students will be able to attend these games by entering in a raffle to receive tickets, much like the fall 2020 football season. There will be 200 students allowed at each basketball game.
“This is a team that our fans deserve to see play in person, and our student-athletes deserve the opportunity to play in front of Bronco Nation,” said Head Coach Leon Rice. “I’m grateful for this opportunity, and I’m appreciative that our health and wellness team has put together a plan that allows us to play in a safe environment.”
Coaches and student-athletes had positive and excited opinions on having spectators in the arena. Having normality back in their weekly routine is something to look forward to when going to games. Throughout the course of the game, the players did everything they could to hype up the crowd of 900 from dancing to interacting and having conversations.
After the game on Thursday, Feb. 17, guard’s Derrick Alston and Marcus Shaver Jr. shared how they felt about spectators being at ExtraMile Arena.
“It was good to have Bronco Nation in there cheering and supporting us because we needed them today,” Alston said. “That was a big win for us, and it was a total team effort. I’m proud of the guys and how we stuck with it.”
The first game back in ExtraMile Arena for spectators was one many were excited about, including the players.
“We wanted it a lot, but the job is not done. We stayed pretty much even keel the whole game, we knew it was going to be a dog fight and we just stayed together as a team and played together the whole game,” Shaver said. “I missed that feeling, the environment and playing in front of fans and family, it’s definitely a game-changer. I missed that energy and the energy the fans give us. It helps a lot.”
According to a press release, spectators can purchase tickets online for prices ranging from $30-$40. If students are not a part of the Bronco Athletic Association or a season ticket holder, you may or may not be able to find tickets through the school.