Although Boise State football won their first home game against the University of Texas El Paso on Friday, Sept. 10, many maskless faces were seen throughout the full capacity stadium, despite the university’s mask requirement in crowded outdoor spaces.
In response, Boise State sent an email to season ticket holders and students promoting prizes for those who choose to wear a mask inside the stadium during Saturday’s game against Oklahoma State. “Wear a mask, win a prize” was the subject of the email.
“For the health and safety of our community, Boise State expects fans to wear facial coverings in the stadium as well as when entering and exiting the venue,” the email read. “We are committed to following all local, state and athletic conference guidelines. We are aware of and disappointed by the lack of adherence to the current facial covering requirement by many of those in attendance.”
The university says they will continue to reward those who choose to wear a mask during football games for the rest of the season. As of yet, it has not been confirmed whether staff in attendance will be enforcing the mask requirement more strictly on Saturday.
Between the Friday game against UTEP and the Saturday game against Oklahoma State, Idaho hit a grim mark in the pandemic: the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare has enacted crisis standards of care in hospitals across the state due to rampant infections in unvaccinated communities.
Prior to kickoff on Saturday, vaccines will be available on-site in tents outside Albertsons Stadium. Those who are already vaccinated can enter to win prizes with proof of at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Prizes include concession vouchers, autographed footballs, season tickets for future football and basketball games and gift cards to the Bronco Shop.
If fans feel uncomfortable attending the game due to COVID or public health protocols, Boise State is offering full refunds for season ticket holders. Fans also have the opportunity to move their current tickets to the 2022 football season.
During Friday’s game, several maskless faces could be seen in the student section.
Boise State students also received similar information regarding incentives and safety protocols in an email from the Dean of Students Christian Wuthrich. Rewards for proof of vaccination and mask wearing also apply to students.
The Corral typically takes up the first two rows of the student section. Corral Vice President Abby Norris said she and her friends were all wearing masks, but many individuals behind them were not.
“We ask people to be respectful, do what you feel is best for yourself, but trying to control 5,000 plus students is a very tall task,” said Boise State Corral President, Alek Rea.
The email also included that any excessive or underage drinkers will be excluded from the game and a report will be filed with the Dean of Students.
“Alcohol sales are limited to those 21 and older. Do not purchase alcohol for students you do not know. Failure to follow this policy will result in a referral to the Office of the Dean of Students,” the email read.