UTEP to play North Texas on Saturday without fans due to rising COVID-19 numbers


EL PASO, TEXAS (KTSM) – UTEP President Dr. Heather Wilson and Director of Athletics Jim Senter announced on Monday that UTEP’s football game against North Texas this Saturday (Oct. 31) will be played with no fans in attendance.

UTEP had been allowing roughly 8,600 fans through their first two home games of the season, which equates to 18% capacity at Sun Bowl Stadium.

Per UTEP officials, there has been no evidence of community spread from the Miners’ first two home football games. While sporting events like those at UTEP were exempt from limitations, local health officials have asked residents to stay home at this time unless they are performing essential activities.

“Miner fans have been terrific in following best health practices at our football games,” said Dr. Wilson. “They have been doing the right things – wearing masks, social distancing, staying in assigned seats combined with a reduced seating capacity has kept everyone safe. At the same time, the disease levels around us are high, and, in support of El Paso’s efforts to keep people home, we have decided not to allow fans at Saturday’s game.”

“Student-athlete infections have been nearly non-existent due to their diligence in following the recommended safety protocols and the frequency of testing,” added Senter. “While we believe that our department and our fans have followed all of the best practices to ensure a safe experience, the disease is at very high levels around us. We understand El Paso’s desire to encourage people to stay home this weekend.”

Only coaches, student-athletes, support staff, officials, medical personnel, and media with a working credential at Saturday’s game will be permitted into Sun Bowl Stadium. Decisions on fan attendance for future games will be evaluated on a week-to-week basis.

All season ticket holders and single-game tickets should expect to be contacted within the coming days regarding refund options.

The game will kickoff at noon Mountain Time and will be played before a national television audience on CBS Sports Network.

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