Orange COVID phase forces BYU Football to go without fans

The state of Utah announced Tuesday that Provo will be moved from a low (yellow) to a moderate (orange) risk COVID-19 designation. Consequently, the BYU-Troy football game on Saturday, Sept. 26, will be played without fans at LaVell Edwards Stadium.

BYU Athletics originally announced that 6,000 fans would be in attendance at LaVell Edwards Stadium against Troy for the Cougars’ home opener, but an increase in positive COVID-19 cases in Utah County altered the original plans. 

“We implore you to stay home except for in-person classes, work, church, and other essentials,” BYU President Kevin Worthen and UVU President Astrid Tuminez said in a joint email sent to UVU and BYU students on Tuesday. “We ask that you limit your social interactions to only those within your household and avoid small gatherings where individuals aren’t wearing masks or maintaining physical distance.”

Tickets for the home opener went on sale on Sept. 14 to season-ticket holders first, and student tickets went on sale on Monday, Sept. 21.

“Tickets purchased for the Troy game will be honored for the first home game once the state designation changes to allow BYU to host fans in the stadium,” BYU Athletics said in an official statement following the announcement. “Ticket holders who are interested in receiving a refund for the Troy tickets can email the BYU Ticket Office at .”

View of an empty LaVell Edwards Stadium. The home opener against Troy will be played without fans in the stands after the state of Utah moved Provo into “orange” phase for COVID precautions. (Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

The state of Utah’s announced designation for Provo will be in affect for a minimum of 14-days. BYU’s matchup against Louisiana Tech, scheduled to be played on Friday, Oct. 2, falls within the 14-day parameter and will also be played without fans. 

BYU Athletic Director Tom Holmoe provided a message of hope to all Cougar fans following the announcement. “Cougs, difficult news to have to close LaVell’s House to spectators for Troy and La. Tech. Like all the other challenges we have faced together this year, we will move forward strategically and make the most of the tough situation. Hang in there!”

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