WAYNE – Over the next eight weeks, Wayne State College basketball will each play eight home games. Fan attendance early on will be limited to immediate family members with the hopes to eventually expand that to accommodate current ticket holders.
According to a release from the Wayne State College Athletics Department, the first two weekends of home basketball in Rice Auditorium (Saturday and Sunday, January 2 – 3 as well as Friday and Saturday, January 8 – 9) WSC and the Nebraska State College system will continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic.
Director of Athletics, Mike Powicki said they were trying to base this off from how the state of Nebraska has handled high school sports.
“We’ll permit our student-athletes and coaches immediate family members,” said Powicki. “Which would be parents, siblings and then grandparents as well too. We have some NCAA protocols they have to follow as far as getting into the game for quote-on-quote free; so, we’ll still have to follow those guidelines.”
Every school in the league will be a little different.
There will be no ticket sales for the first two weekends and no visiting fans will be permitted at Rice Auditorium for home Wayne State College basketball.
Powicki was also a part of the working group with the NSIC forming their return to competition plan. He added there were some changes in scheduling the games which features single gender site games instead of the normal doubleheaders.
“Obviously that’s abnormal for us,” Powicki added. “All of those things were done in an effort to provide a safer environment for our student-athletes, coaches and eventually our spectators. Allowed us a little more flexibility on some of the testing protocols that are expected of you that have been laid out by the NCAA.”
The Wayne State men host Northern State on Saturday, January 2 at 3:30 p.m. and again on Sunday, January 3 at 1:30 p.m. while the women will travel to Northern State on the same days with game times at 4 p.m. each day in Aberdeen, South Dakota.
Face coverings will be required by staff and all spectators entering Rice Auditorium. Once in Rice Auditorium, a mask must be worn at all times except for when you are eating or drinking. Limited concessions will be available in Rice Auditorium.
Seating will only be available in the balcony of Rice Auditorium and fans will be asked to sit in family groups and social distance from others as hand sanitizing stations will be available for spectator use. Limited accessible seating will be available on the floor in Rice Auditorium to accommodate any individuals with a disability.
With the state of Nebraska allowing up to 75% for indoor attendance, Powicki doesn’t think they’ll every get that high due to social distancing in the balcony.
“Most likely I foresee what the numbers will come to will be basically only being able to provide tickets to our corporate partner season ticket holders and then our regular season ticket holders,” Powicki mentioned. “Then not maybe necessarily doing any day-of-game sales which I think a lot of schools are doing.”
Fans can watch all Wildcat basketball games online and free of charge through the NSIC Network. You can log onto www.nsicnetwork.com/wscwildcats or watch the games by downloading the OTP app by searching “NSIC” or “NSIC Network” that is available on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire and Android TV.
The Wildcat Sports Network (KTCH/KCTY) will provide coverage of home Wildcat basketball this season. Pregame coverage with Voice of the Wildcats, Aaron Scheffler will begin 30 minutes prior to each start time. This Saturday’s game will be carried on Big Red Country ‘KTCH’ 104.9 and waynedailynews.com and Sunday’s game will be on The City ‘KCTY’ 98.9/1590 and waynedailynews.com. Pregame coverage for Saturday’s men’s game is set for 3 p.m. with Sunday’s pregame show to begin at 1 p.m.