DAVIS, Calif. (KTXL) — The University of California, Davis is making some changes to its COVID-19 guidelines in hopes of having a large crowd for its Oct. 2 football game against the Idaho Vandals.
School officials said they felt it was necessary to welcome people back to the stands.
“We wanted to be able to host an event with 10,000 or more people, and so, the guidelines with the state of California came in saying that we need to require a vaccine check or a negative test within 72 hours,” said Associate Athletics Director Dannielle Shank.
The university’s latest change comes as California also changes its rules for indoor events, requiring proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test for gatherings of 1,000 people instead of 5,000 people. Health officials in Los Angeles County are also requiring proof of vaccination to attend outdoor mega-events, including ones at sporting venues.
“We know schools in Oregon have done it. Contacting Stanford, UCLA, just different teams to look at best practices,” Shank said. “We knew that we could exceed that 10,000 in demand, and so now, we’re taking the step operationally to make sure people are healthy and safe.”
Shank said while the new requirement comes at the request of many students and staff, the school recognizes not everyone shares the same opinion when it comes to vaccinations.
“You can stream the game, so we’re not requiring you to be here to be able to watch this great football team perform,” Shank told FOX40. “Should people who already have tickets and not feel comfortable, or certainly, if they’re feeling sick, you have the option to have your ticket refunded. We’re also allowing people who have a negative test within 72 hours and bring that as proof. So if you are unvaccinated, you still have the opportunity to come.”
As the undefeated Aggies prepare to hit the field, Shank said she and a majority of the student-athletes hope to see hundreds of people back in the stands.
“We are making sure that we make this place as clean as possible, people feel safe and welcome, and that they know they can have a great experience and go home be happy that they came,” Shank said.
Shank said children under the age of 12 are welcome to attend the game regardless of vaccination status.