NORMAN, Okla. (KFOR) – Thanks to the Sooners’ game with Tulane moving to Norman, both OU and OSU kick off their seasons at home on Saturday, and officials say COVID-19 precautions will be very similar at the two schools.
“We have to be respectful of our own health and the concerns of others. We were fully intending to comply in every way,” said Sooners fan, Mike Moran.
Moran says he was ready for the mask and vaccine requirements that were supposed to be in place if the Sooners and Tulane had played in New Orleans, but now…
“We are not doing any mandates here, as it stands right now. We are just urging them to wear mask when they are in the stadium,” said OU Executive Assistant Athletics Director, Kenny Mossman.
Sooner athletic officials complying with current state law and not mandating masks, but say signs will be posted that strongly encourage masks for all fans attending athletic events, especially indoors, in elevators and in large groups of people.
“I think we have seen in the past our fan base is willing to stand up and be cooperative, and that’s what we are counting on,” said Mossman.
OU fan reaction is mixed on the subject.
“I think there are responsible people who would wear masks, but I think they would be outnumbered by those who don’t,” said Bethany Grissom, OU graduate student.
“Personally, I always want to be respectful of those around me so I will have a mask with me,” said Moran.
As for rules in for game day in Stillwater…
“We are going to expect that everybody wears masks in all indoor areas of the stadium and strongly encourage fans to wear masks in the main bowl and any outdoor spaces of Boone Pickens Stadium on game day,” said OSU Sports Information Director, Gavin Lang.
OSU is also not mandating masks or vaccines, but they are offering free Moderna and Johnson and Johnson shots prior to Saturday’s game from 12-4 p.m. on the stadium’s North Side.
“I think this is an important point to get vaccinated and wear our mask indoors so that hopefully we see a decrease in our numbers, and we don’t have any stricter guidelines going forward that would require us to decrease the capacity of any athletic event,” said OSU President, Dr. Kayse Shrum.
OU will be reducing seating for the Tulane game for staffing reasons. But both schools will be at full capacity for regularly scheduled games.
After cutting back last year, both OSU and OU say tailgating will be back to pre-COVID rules.
As for one of Sooners fans’ favorite pre-and-post-game hangouts, Campus Corner? Officials say the same masking signage used by the university will be posted.
“We are going to promote masking, masking, masking as best as possible and, wherever possible, distancing when you can do it,” said O’Connell’s Owner, Jeff Stewart.
Both OSU and OU say they will have free masks on site for fans.
OU says support, food, and security staff will be required to wear masks. OU officials also remind fans to download the new ticket app on their phones to reduce contact.