Iowa AD Gary Barta not ruling out full capacity at Kinnick Stadium just yet
The idea of having college football stadiums operating at full capacity for the 2020 season seems like a longshot due to the ongoing public health concern regarding the coronavirus pandemic, but Iowa Athletic Director Gary Barta isn’t ruling anything out. Not yet, anyway.
On a conference call with reporters on Thursday, Barta said that having Kinnick Stadium at 100 percent capacity this fall is “still one of the models we’re planning for,” according to Scott Dochterman of The Athletic. Reduced-capacity options are also being considered at this time.
It was a bit of a surprising statement from Barta, as in-state rival Iowa State already plans to operate at half capacity for the upcoming season. Jack Trice Stadium will allow 30,000 people in its 61,500-seat venue for the 2020 college football season, unless social distancing guidelines and recommendations are relaxed at a later date.
Barta also said that if limiting capacity is the option Iowa proceeds with this fall, season-ticket holders, the point system and students will be allowed into games first. That total would be around 48,000 fans as a “Plan B” option.
Along with stadium conversations, Barta also believes tailgating will continue before games.
“I can comfortably say that there will be tailgating,” Barta said.
With still three months left until the 2020 season is scheduled to kick off, Barta is keeping options open for as long as possible, while continuing to work on contingency plans. But it will most likely be the decision of the university and state government that makes the final call on what’s allowable inside Kinnick Stadium in 2020.