FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — When the Razorback football season starts in September, the stadium will be a little louder than last year. The athletic department announced Tuesday that capacity restrictions will no longer be in place.
The stadium seats 76,000 people, and there’s no longer a limit on how many can come in.
“We’re expecting a full-capacity crowd at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium,” said Kevin Trainor, the spokesperson for Razorback Athletics.
Trainor said it’s going to be a lot like baseball in terms of health guidelines.
“We’ve taken a measured approach, and Razorback fans have been great,” Trainor said. “There are a lot of extra things they’ve done.”
Nobody will be forced to wear a mask, but unvaccinated Arkansans will be asked to wear one.
“Those fans that’re not vaccinated, it’ll be recommended that they wear masks,” Trainor said.
Dr. Gary Berner, Community Clinic’s Chief Medical Officer, said the COVID-19 shot’s basically a Sam Pittman offensive line: it’ll protect people.
“It is an incredibly strong way of keeping your Razorback fans safe, your friends and your family, and being able to keep the stadium open,” Berner said.
Berner said preparing for the unexpected will keep the season afloat.
“We would ask that if you’re unvaccinated, this is not about you,” Berner said. “This is about protecting Hog fans.”
The local business community got a big boost from the announcement.
“Razorback football is a big economic driver in Northwest Arkansas and across the state,” said Jeff Cooperstein, a University of Arkansas economist.
Cooperstein said Razorback football is the star player for Arkansas’ economy.
“Football, of course, is the big dog or the big pig, the big Hog in this case,” Cooperstein said.
Trainor said listening to health experts will keep the season going strong.
“There may be some changes along the way,” Trainor said. “There may be some different protocols based on the latest information.”