New Guidelines Will Not Affect State Football Playoffs

The Iowa High School Athletic Association will conduct this week’s football semifinals and next week’s finals at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls as planned using precautions established in consultation with the University of Northern Iowa and Black Hawk County Health Department.

A proclamation Tuesday from Governor Kim Reynolds permitted two spectators per participant to attend indoor youth and high school sporting events due to the continued spread of COVID-19. Given the size of the UNI-Dome and previously planned precautions, the governor considers the state football semifinals and finals equivalent to an outdoor sporting gathering rather than an indoor event.

“We appreciate the consideration of Governor Reynolds in allowing the University of Northern Iowa and Black Hawk County to develop plans that keep fans socially distant at the UNI-Dome,” IHSAA executive director Tom Keating said. “We believe that with the seating plan and our mask mandates in place, we can conduct the state semifinals and finals games safely.”

Tuesday’s proclamation requires all non-athletes wear masks and that groups of attendees have at least six feet of social distancing from other groups at outdoor sporting events. When considered an outdoor gathering, the 12 semifinals (Nov. 12-14) and six finals (Nov. 19-20) are not subject to the proclamation’s indoor spectator limitations and will follow the precautions already in place for the event.

Through reserved seating at the UNI-Dome, spectators will be seated in group pods and will be at least six feet away from other groups. Tickets can be purchased in groups up to six and prohibited seats will be marked. Spectators, officials, staff, sideline personnel, cheerleaders, media members, and all other non-athletes will be required to wear masks while in the UNI-Dome.

Tickets went on sale Saturday exclusively to participating schools. Remaining tickets are to become available for public sale on the day of the games. Tickets are $12.50 each and are good for one game as the UNI-Dome will be cleared between contests. Parking is free at designated lots around the UNI-Dome.

Fans outside the UNI-Dome can watch the semifinals and finals through the Iowa High School Sports Network. Each game is available through a free livestream, the free IHSSN app, and various cable and broadcast television networks.

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