Martin Stadium to open at full capacity

WSU football expecting to play full season; concessions will be open

Concession+stands+will+be+open%2C+and+fans+have+the+option+to+tailgate.

ANNIKA ZEIGLER

Concession stands will be open, and fans have the option to tailgate.

ALEXANDRIA OSBORNE, Evergreen reporter

WSU announced Martin Stadium will open at full capacity for the fall football season Wednesday.

WSU officials attended several meetings over the last few months with the University of Washington and the Seattle Seahawks to discuss reopening each stadium, said Mitch Straub, WSU Athletics/Cougar Athletic Fund deputy director.

Meeting attendees discussed the state’s recovery from the pandemic as well as how to follow COVID-19 restrictions when opening up each stadium, Straub said. 

“With restrictions set to be lifted later this month, it felt like we were in a good spot to go forward with 100 percent capacity,” he said. 

Straub hopes there is not another spike in COVID-19 cases, but he said the athletic department would follow any state’s guidelines in the event of an outbreak. Vaccinations are not required, but it is recommended that unvaccinated fans wear masks inside the stadium.

“We’ll continue to monitor state and local guidelines related to masking for non-vaccinated [individuals],” Straub said. “At this time, it is a recommendation as opposed to an enforcement.”

WSU coordinated its announcement with UW and the Seahawks. The Seahawks announced its stadium will operate at full capacity moving forward. WSU and UW made similar announcements an hour later, he said. 

The athletic department will continue to keep the public’s health in mind, said Chris Park, Athletics/external Relations deputy director. Hand sanitizing stations will be available around the stadium and tickets will be digital. 

“I think coming off the pandemic, there’s going to be a lot of changes just from an overall health perspective that our customers have come to expect when we reopen the gates this fall,” he said. 

Park said he thinks students are more likely to buy a sports pass because Martin Stadium is operating at full capacity. 

WSU saw relatively positive feedback from fans in response to the announcement, he said. Over 18 multi-game ticket packages were sold within hours, and several donors reached out to the athletic department to say how excited they were, he said.  

“Those folks that were straddling the fence whether they were going to commit to coming to games or not all have responded in such a positive and tremendous way,” Park said. “We seem to be headed on the right track.”

Concession stands will be open as well, and fans have the option to tailgate, Straub said. 

“[We are] looking forward to … all the activities that people know and love when they come to Pullman for football Saturdays,” he said.