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University of Iowa suspends ticket sales for 2020 football season as it tries to figure out how social distancing will work at Kinnick

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Photo by Alan Light via Flickr

The University of Iowa Athletics Department said on Monday that it “has paused ticket sales for the 2020 football season.”

“Only individuals who have renewed season tickets and completed per-seat contributions by June 30 will be included in potential Kinnick Stadium seating plans,” according to a UI Athletics press release.

The department said the pause is necessary as it makes plans to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 spread at Kinnick.

“With the current information available, we need to pause additional sales and focus on reduced-capacity seating models based on our season ticket holders,” Athletic Director Gary Barta said, in the press release. “We anticipate finalizing this by late July and will share with our fans.”

“The option of having the ability to accommodate as many Hawkeye fans who are comfortable attending a game in Kinnick Stadium is still one of the scenarios.”

In a separate statement on Monday, UI Athletics disclosed that nine of the 40 student-athletes, coaches and staff members tested last week were confirmed as having COVID-19. Three other individuals had previously tested positive. The department began testing for the virus as part of its return to campus protocol on May 29.

“While we have experienced an increase in positive tests, almost all are related to individuals who had been in quarantine due to our contact tracing and developed symptoms,” Dr. Andrew Peterson, UI associate professor and head team physician, said in a press release. “Our overall process, including testing and daily health screening, is working as expected.”

After weeks of low numbers of new cases of COVID-19 in Johnson County, Monday was the sixth day in a row to have a double digit increase in the number of new cases. The increase is primarily the result of new cases among “younger individuals,” according to a statement from Johnson County Public Health.

Story County, home of Iowa State University, has also seen a spike in new cases of the virus recently. As in Johnson County, the largest number of new cases is among younger people.

The Story County Board of Health is concerned about the impact of fans going to athletic events at ISU this fall. Ahead of its Monday night meeting, the board prepared a statement to be delivered to ISU, WOI TV News reported.

“We implore Iowa State University to cancel spectators at sporting events this fall,” the statement says.

“Please broadcast them. We cannot think of any way these events can be made even remotely safe with the masses of people from all over the state who routinely attend these events. Please do it for the health of our community.”

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