The Iowa State football program could become trendsetters in the world of college football and it’s not because of Matt Campbell’s innovative offense.
Tuesday morning athletics director Jamie Pollard announced Iowa State’s plans to fill Jack Trice Stadium this fall. Fully anticipating the season to start on time Sept. 5, Pollard revealed the stadium will be limited exclusively to season ticket holders at half its 60,000-seat capacity. There are only 8,000 unsold seats remaining before Cyclone fans reach the new 30,000-seat capacity.
As of today, Iowa State does not plan on selling single-game tickets. That is subject to change if capacity can be increased based on developments in the COVID-19 crisis. Pollard does not mention where students fit into this equation in his letter to Iowa State fans.
The 50 percent stadium capacity reduction is near the north end of a projection shared last week by Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith, who estimated a range between 20 and 50 percent.
Kentucky’s Kroger Field is almost identical to Jack Trice Stadium, each listed with a capacity just north of 61,000 people. Where the two differ is the amount of season tickets already sold. University of Kentucky officials tell KSR that 27,113 Wildcat fans have purchased 2020 season tickets as of May 21, 81% of last year’s total. Of that group 1,650 are new season-ticket holders.
“We are so thankful to our fans for the way they continue to support our program even through these challenging times. Their response has been incredible and our conversations with them have been uplifting,” said a university spokesperson.
Last month Mitch Barnhart said the university is preparing for football this fall and is willing to make “all possible accommodations” for fans who have already submitted their intentions to purchase 2020 UK football season tickets. This week UK’s athletics director is working with local government and university officials to determine when student athletes can return to campus to train for the upcoming season.
“Once we take this important step in returning to activity, we will shift our focus to preparing to return to play and bringing the entire UK family – student-athletes, coaches and fans alike – back together this fall in a responsible and safe way,” said Barnhart.
Iowa State is the first college football program to share how they plan to fill their stadium this fall. If the 50 percent model becomes a regular benchmark across the country, there will not be much more room for additional Kentucky fans to sign up to attend home games. If Kroger Field operates at one-third capacity in 2020, as KSR reported this afternoon, there are already more season tickets purchased than available seats.