EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) Football is back in the borderland. The UTEP Miners defeated Stephen F. Austin Saturday night with fans cheering them on from the stands at the Sun Bowl Stadium.
Fans were allowed inside at 18-percent capacity, which is about 8,600 people. However, only 6,047 fans attended the game. Some Miner fans told KTSM 9 News they think having fans cheering on the team helped them during the game.
“Yeah, I really missed it,” said Elio Rubio, one of UTEP’s youngest fans as he held up his hand in the shape of the UTEP Miners pick.
The Rubio family didn’t have to miss much, as they were allowed into the very first game of the season to cheer on the miners.
“We love our team, and like we said, even when they’re not doing great, we’re still here, and when they’re doing awesome, we’re here,” said UTEP diehard, Cristy Rubio.
Fans were spread out throughout the stadium and were required to wear masks.
“Just even thinking about not having football it was like oh my god, so I’m ecstatic to be back,” said Norma De La Rosa a UTEP Football fan.
Temperatures were not taken at the gates, but fans were asked to fill out a questionnaire online. The questionnaire asked if they had symptoms of COVID-19 or had come in contact with someone who tested positive.
“We were inconvenienced for a little bit, but it’s for the safety of everybody, and for the safety of these kids, these kids want to come out and play,” said De La Rosa.
Fans are happy to be back but some were surprised that they were actually allowed.
“We thought that they were going to be closed for the public, but we are very excited that it’s open at least we don’t care it’s a few people, but we just love the energy,” Luis Garcia told KTSM.
Fans say they think the reason the stadium didn’t reach 18-percent capacity is because of COVID-19.
“This is a very supportive town, and I think it’s mainly because of the virus. I mean, people love UTEP, and they love coming to these games,” said UTEP student, Joshua Hancock.
Per Governor Greg Abbott UTEP could have allowed up to 50-percent capacity for games. However, there is no word yet on whether or not UTEP will increase the capacity for the next game.