By Mark Lindahl and Austin Brumblay
Update: March 11, 6:31 p.m.
Long Beach State Athletics announced via email, that it will be limiting spectators attending home game events.
“All Long Beach State home events will be limited to 150 spectators who will be invited through a pass list with the intention of allowing family members of student-athletes to be able to attend games,” said Andy Fee, athletic director. “Other attendees will be limited to essential personnel.”
The decision change comes less than 24 hours after Athletics announced that it will not be changing the spectator procedure “for the foreseeable future.”
Students and fans will no longer be able to attend home games, “effective immediately and continue until further notice,” including this week’s high-profile men’s volleyball matchup between No. 4 Long Beach and No. 3 UCSB.
Long Beach will still practice and compete as usual while following the California State University travel guidelines regarding team and personnel travel.
“We deeply regret the inconvenience that this causes fans of all of our athletic programs,” the email read. “We are committed to continuing our efforts of providing the best experience for our student-athletes and want everyone to know that these decisions were made in conjunction with University leadership with the health and well-being of our campus community in mind.”
Fans who have already purchased tickets to any affected competition can contact the Long Beach State Ticket Office at (562) 985-4949 (Press 5) with questions.
March 11, 3:30 p.m.
In the wake of the university’s decision to move all class instruction online, Long Beach State Athletics has decided to still allow spectators to attend all home games for the “foreseeable future.”
“We are currently planning to host LBSU home games as usual at each of our campus venues,” said Andy Fee, athletics director. “With that said, conditions could change necessitating modification or canceling of games with short notice.”
For away games, however, Athletics will determine if the host team’s area is deemed safe for travel.
“I wouldn’t approve travel to the state of Washington now,” President Jane Close Conoley told the Forty-Niner Monday. “Or maybe to Santa Clara County now that there’s been a death.”
The Pyramid will host No. 4 Long Beach State men’s volleyball versus No. 3 UCSB Thursday.
The No. 12 Dirtbags were cleared for travel to New Orleans, Louisiana and will compete against No. 23 Tulane starting Friday.
The indoor track and field team will travel to Albuquerque, New Mexico to compete in the NCAA championships.
Big West officials decided Tuesday to go fan-less for the women’s basketball games hosted at the Walter Pyramid March 10-11 and the men’s basketball tournament and women’s championship game at the Honda Center in Anaheim March 12-14.
The decision to exclude fans from attending the Big West basketball tournaments was done in cooperation with all nine Big West schools.
Fee said coaches and players have supported the department’s and Big West’s decisions.
“Overwhelmingly the feedback has been one of support and understanding,” he said. “This is not an ideal scenario, but there are things larger than sports. With respect to both Big West Basketball Tournaments, we know parents, friends and fans all want to cheer our teams on.”
Sophomore guard Justina King said that the empty Pyramid did not affect the team’s play but the decision was a surprise.
“I think it came to a shock to us, we kinda were talking about it in the locker room a little bit before the game but I think once we started playing it wasn’t, ‘Oh we shot it, do we hear the crowd?’” she said. “I wouldn’t say it necessarily affected our performance basketball-wise, I think it was just a weird thing in general.”
Cleaning and sanitization protocols have been increased at the Long Beach sports venues, according to Conoley.
Conoley added that all events, which include booster club and alumni gathers, held at sports games have been canceled until further notice.
“Many of the people that come to [game events] are in the age range that are more likely to be [affected],” she said.
For up-to-date coverage on coronavirus at CSULB, visit our live coverage page.