Kansas Athletics will allow fans at home games during a trial period from Monday, Dec. 7 through Dec. 14, University of Kansas Chancellor Douglas Girod announced in a message Thursday.
This trial period includes three men’s basketball games, two women’s basketball games and Kansas’ final home football game against Texas on Dec. 12. About 2,500 fans will be allowed into Allen Fieldhouse for basketball games — including Kansas men’s basketball contests against No. 9 Creighton (Dec. 8), Omaha (Dec. 11) and Tarleton State (Dec. 13).
About 9,500 fans will be allowed into David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium for Kansas football’s season finale.
Both Girod and Kansas Athletics Director Jeff Long reiterated there has been no evidence of COVID-19 transmission at home Kansas Athletics events during the pandemic.
“The decision to begin hosting fans again has been made after consultation with the Pandemic Medical Advisory Team and other university leaders,” Girod said in the statement. “The decision is based primarily on the current declining trend in COVID-19 positivity and hospitalization rates in our county and region, as well as the fact that Douglas County’s rates continue to be lower than most regions of the country.”
Long added that Kansas Athletics has adhered to strict mask mandates and added hand sanitizing stations throughout Allen Fieldhouse to prepare for the arrival of fans.
“I want to thank you for your patience as we waited for guidance,” Long said in a statement. “Our venues are a much better place when Kansas fans are in-person cheering on our student-athletes.”
As with previous announcements regarding attendance amid the pandemic, Girod said these decisions will continue to be made on a week-to-week basis. Girod said he will continue to consult with the Pandemic Medical Advisory Team and other University leaders in the coming weeks.
Douglas County has reported 5,033 confirmed cases of the coronavirus since the pandemic began, according to Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health. As of Thursday, 1,098 cases were active and 27 people have died in the county.
“While we are confident we can maximize fan health and wellness in our athletics facilities, we can’t do that for fans who gather in restaurants, bars and living rooms to watch the Jayhawks on TV, or for those who travel among combined households to and from games,” Girod said. “That responsibility is on each of us as individuals. With that in mind, please continue your commitment to mask-wearing, social distancing and thinking not only about yourself, but about the entire community, in every decision you make.”