Washington State limiting spring game attendance to player/coach guests

Theo Lawson, The Spokesman-Review, Spokane, Wash.
·2 min read

Apr. 19—Fans hoping to sneak an early look at Nick Rolovich's football team may now have to wait until September.

Washington State announced Monday a limited number of player and coach guests will be permitted to attend Saturday's Crimson and Gray Game at Martin Stadium, but the general public won't be able to purchase a ticket to the annual spring game.

The Crimson and Gray Game is scheduled to kick off at 2 p.m. and those unable to attend the scrimmage in person can watch on the Pac-12 Networks, listen on WSU's Learfield IMG College Radio Network station or follow through the Cougars' social media channels.

The announcement comes one week after Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced Whitman County would be one of three counties in the state rolling back to Phase 2 as a result of surging COVID-19 cases. All other counties in the state are currently following Phase 3 guidelines and therefore are allowed to host 25% capacity at major sporting events.

Under Phase 2, outdoor entertainment venues are only allowed to host a maximum of 200 individuals, including spectators.

Most Pac-12 football programs are allowing, or have allowed, limited attendance at spring games. WSU's cross-state rival, Washington, has invited fans to multiple practices and will use an RSVP-based system for its May 1 game. Oregon is allowing approximately 8,000 fans at its upcoming spring game and Oregon State began allowing fans back at outdoor sporting events on March 19, though the Beavers haven't made any announcements specific to their spring football game.

Both Arizona schools, along with USC, are allowing at least 5,000 fans at their respective scrimmages and Utah recently had 6,500 fans at its spring game in Salt Lake City. Colorado coach Karl Dorrell indicated the Buffaloes hope to have fans at their scrimmage, while UCLA has yet to make an announcement.

Cal has been the only Pac-12 school to fully restrict attendance at its spring game, though the Golden Bears ended spring game workouts before many of their peers started them, concluding with a March 20 scrimmage. As of April 12, Stanford began allowing students to select outdoor athletic venues, along with guests of players and coaches who were able to show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19.