Big Ten to let local governments set attendance rules

The change goes into effect immediately.
Published: Mar. 24, 2021 at 10:51 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The Big Ten Conference will begin letting local health departments determine attendance policies for its games, including spring football activities.

The conference made the announcement on Wednesday, saying the new rules, which will rely on local health guidelines and restrictions, will go into effect immediately.

The decision comes following the March 4 policy change by the Big Ten earlier this month, which allowed a limited number of fans to attend men’s and women’s conference championships.

The Big Ten explained the change was based on a joint decision by the Big Ten Conference Directors of Athletics and the Council of Presidents and Chancellors, who also relied on recommendations from university medical experts.

Physical distancing and mask rules still apply as do other extra safety and hygiene requirements.

In Dane Co., Public Health Madison & Dane County’s emergency order does not apply to on-campus activities which are state land. However, its restrictions pertaining to sports placed attendance caps at 150 or fewer for indoor events where food and drink were served and 350 people at ones where they were not, not including employees. Outdoor events were limited to 500 people, regardless of whether food and drink were served.

The Dept. of Health Services told NBC15 News it is not advising the university to provide COVID-19 guidance, and pointed to the CDC recommendations for organizing large events and gatherings.

clarification: PHMDC confirmed its restrictions do not apply to on campus activities including games there. NBC15 News has updated the story with state officials statement regarding guidance for the university.

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