Wolf Pack fans are preparing to pack the stands at home sporting events


Hannah Renton

Students gather in the University Sports Complex on Aug. 18th, 2021. fans will be able to attend sporting events in person this year.

Loyola students are excited to support their favorite sports teams in person this fall after going two semesters with limited or no access to live sports.
Due to COVID-19 guidelines put in place by the university, students were not allowed to attend games in person last season. The games were live streamed in an effort to promote student engagement, but for some students, this was not enough.
“Not being able to attend the games last season was really weird, honestly.” Maighan Bridges, junior criminology and justice major, said. “I genuinely love watching the games in person and being with other students and fans cheering in the stands.”
Bridges was able to experience regular game days in The Den before the pandemic, and is excited to be able to sit in the stands this fall. Similar to Bridges, graphic design junior Ryan Becnel wants to make up for lost time.
“I’m excited to attend the games this year,” Becnel said. “I only saw a handful of games my freshman year and almost none my sophomore year.”
Student-athletes are also looking forward to in person sporting events.
Senior digital filmmaking major, Kailyn O’Neal, a member of the volleyball team, feels pride during matches when she receives support from fans, so their absence last year was notable.
“It was unusual initially, but it was the new normal,” O’Neal said. “We made it a point to cheer for ourselves and be our own fans when our spectators couldn’t be in the stands.”
O’Neal is looking forward to another successful season with the team. This time with the addition of fans cheering them on from the stands.
Director of Athletics Brett Simpson said that the University Sports Complex will be following Loyola’s COVID-19 protocols to provide a safe environment for fans and athletes. They have been working closely with Loyola’s Public Health team which is under guidance of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Louisiana Department of Health.
“In accordance with Loyola and New Orleans guidelines, all athletes must wear a mask at all times while indoors.” Simpson said. “There are additional protocols in place for individuals who are not vaccinated.” The additional guidelines were not specified.
In an email, University President Tania Tetlow announced the university will comply with the city’s new public health protocols to help reduce the transmission and spread of COVID-19. Indoor masking is required in all campus facilities, including offices, classrooms, athletic facilities, residential halls, and public spaces.
In the city of New Orleans, proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test within the last 72 hours is required to enter restaurants, bars, gyms, and performances.