Fans no longer require proof of vaccination at athletic events. So what?

Abhib Amatya

Feb. 11 Augustana changed its COVID-19 policy allowing visitors to attend athletic events without having to present their proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test.

Not requiring proof of vaccination anymore might have an impact on athletes and their performances, especially those who play indoor sports like basketball. 

Junior basketball player Daniel Carr believes this policy change might result in more fans and more energy in the stands at home games. 

“It doesn’t really matter. I just think that without having to provide proof of vaccination, there is a higher chance of having more fans who are able to attend, which in turn leads to just having a bit more energy and a bit more of a home court advantage,” Carr said. 

First-year basketball player Emily Brenneisen has a similar outlook on the policy change as Carr.

“The decision is smart and it will help us have more fans at the games. But I also want everyone to stay safe with the pandemic,” Brenneisen said. 

Senior basketball player Daina Riser also expressed what she thinks about this decision. 

“It was rough having the vaccination policy implemented in the middle of our season and again having it taken off towards the end of the season,” Riser said. “It felt like last year when fans were not allowed to come to any of our games at the end of the season.”

Similarly, Carr also remembered that playing without fans last season made games feel more like practices.

“It felt like we were practicing all the time. Having empty stands would make us question if we really like doing this,” Carr said.

Carr believes that the decision to implement this policy occurred at an appropriate time and gives students the opportunity to make their own decision on if they want to attend. 

“I think the number of COVID-19 cases in Augustana has been at a manageable level,” Carr said. “I think for the younger population and those that are more healthy, it all comes down to whether they want to come to games or not.”

With every policy change regarding COVID-19 there is always potential risk to fans and players.

“It would be tough to pinpoint if a fan could transmit the disease to the team, but even if they do, I do not think it would cause much damage because it is an isolated event,” Carr said.