By Nathan Ham
In an announcement from Appalachian State University Director of Athletics Doug Gillin on Tuesday night, Mountaineer fans found out that all home fall sports games and matches will be played with no crowds, at least through the end of September.
Football, cross country, women’s soccer and volleyball are the four programs affected by the decision to allow no fans in attendance.
“App State fans and our football season ticket holders have also been incredibly resilient and patient with us. Your support for our student-athletes and teams has never been needed more and is much appreciated. Every adjustment we have made has been with the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches, staff and the university community in mind,” said Gillin. “While we await more guidance from state and local health officials, we will continue to work with university leadership and university medical professionals to evaluate the impact of COVID-19 conditions with the hope that we can welcome fans to our athletics events in October.”
Gillin acknowledged that this would be disappointing news for the Mountaineer fan base that has been eagerly awaiting the start of college football season once news broke in July that the Sun Belt Conference intended on playing a full conference schedule this season.
“ Our games and matches will not be the same without the App faithful. Your passion and enthusiasm make game day one of the best experiences in college athletics. We will especially miss our App State students loudly cheering on their classmates,” Gillin said. “We remain hopeful that we will be able to safely cheer on the Mountaineers in large groups again this season. We will be in touch with opportunities for fan engagement away from our venues in September, and with information as soon as we know the outlook for venue capacities in October.”
Football season ticket holders can donate the prorated amount of their season tickets for the two September home games to Appalachian’s Keep Climbing initiative and receive Yosef Club priority points, according to the athletic department. Season ticket holders can also receive a prorated refund or roll their season tickets over to the 2021 season.
No details about tailgating activities were addressed in Tuesday night’s announcement.