Dakota Wesleyan University home basketball games are slowly returning to normal.
DWU recently announced a new set of attendance protocols at the Corn Palace, which will allow roughly 800 fans or 25% capacity of the 3,200-seat venue.
There will be 300 tickets available exclusively online at www.dwuathletics.com/ticketing. There will be no walk-up ticketing options at the door, while TeamMaker and promo-codes can still be applied.
DWU will still use a guest list for both home and away teams. The guest list will amount to just under 300 total and individuals on the guest list do not need an online ticket to be granted admission.
There will be another 200 tickets available to DWU students, faculty and staff with a valid ID at the gate. These individuals do not need an online ticket and will be on a first come, first-serve basis.
The doors will continue to open 1 1/2 hours prior to tip. Face coverings are required and fans outside of their family groups are asked to practice social distancing.
DWU Athletic Director Jon Hart said the online tickets won’t be reserved seating and will be treated like general admission tickets.
It’s the second time this season the Tigers released a set of attendance guidelines. In mid-November, DWU limited fan attendance to a home-team guest list of four tickets per team personnel member. The visiting teams were permitted a guest list that cannot exceed 80 spectators.
“We said kind of all along that after the first of the New Year, we were going to kind of reevaluate things and take a look at adding some more fans,” Hart said. “That’s kind of where we landed where we are at.”
The current guidelines will be in place through Feb. 3 against Morningside College and the university will re-evaluate again, said Hart.
“If things look OK, we will have some conversations with our leadership again and see if we are in a comfortable place to extend it by more,” Hart said.
Hart said they’ll constantly evaluate the guidelines and how COVID-19 is impacting Mitchell and the region. DWU will also evaluate how other universities handle theirs when making future decisions. Great Plains Athletic Conference member Midland University also recently announced similar guidelines.
“Obviously, we take a look at what peer schools and peer institutions are doing,” Hart said. “Our leadership met and that’s kind of how we landed at that 25%.”
The DWU basketball teams host Mount Marty University in a 2 p.m. doubleheader on Sunday at the Corn Palace.