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DWU to limit seating at home basketball games: Pre-sale tickets go on sale today

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Dakota Wesleyan University fans cheer for the Tigers before the start of the Great Plains Athletic Conference tournament championship game last season at the Corn Palace.

The first handful of Dakota Wesleyan University basketball games will look vastly different than recent seasons.

In order to accommodate social distancing, DWU has set seating and capacity restrictions at the Corn Palace. The university will allow roughly 1,600 fans at the 3,200-seat venue, said DWU Athletic Director Jon Hart, and it’s based on the capacity of each section.

“We took a look at the full capacity of each section of the Corn Palace and virtually cut it in half to accommodate physical and social distancing,” Hart said. “This ultimately got us to a magic number of about 1,600 which we felt was fair and safe.”

The university will allot 1,400 for general admission, with the remaining 200 going to DWU students allowed admittance with their identification cards.

Tickets for the general public go on sale at noon today at www.dwuathletics.com/ticketing. Fans will have the option to choose reserved home seating in the soft seat section (seat specific) or general admission areas on the bleachers. Tickets are $8 for adults and $3 for students (K-12). Processing fees are not included.

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The university encourages fans to purchase tickets through the pre-sale option, said Hart, and it will offer a walk-up ticketing option. But DWU will pull the walk-up option and only honor pre-sale purchases, if the capacity limits are reached.

“The system allows us to track our attendance in real time,” Hart said. “Before it really didn’t and we were allowing re-entries. Now it’s going to be pretty hard and firm.”

Gates will open 1 1/2 hours before the opening tip and no re-entry will be allowed after tickets are scanned. Masks are mandatory and fans are encouraged to self-screen prior to attending contests.

Until further notice, courtside seating and any TeamMaker or corporate-sponsored hospitality rooms will not be offered. Fans will also not be allowed to sit along the ledge of the stage behind the scorers table.

But the guidelines and restrictions will be re-evaluated at a later date.

“We are operating under these conditions until the first of the year,” Hart said. “So basically our first six games in the Corn Palace this year, we are going to operate under those guidelines.”

The Tigers will both start their seasons on Nov. 7-8 at the Sanford Pentagon against Valley City State University and Presentation College, respectively.

The Great Plains Athletic Conference season starts with a home doubleheader against Briar Cliff University on Wednesday, Nov. 11 at the Corn Palace.

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The two other non-conference matchups for the DWU women’s basketball team are at the Hoop City Classic on Dec. 29-30 at the Corn Palace. The Tigers host Carroll College (Mont.) and Montana Tech University on Dec. 29-30, respectively.

The DWU men’s basketball squad travels to Dickinson State University on Friday, Nov. 27. DWU also plays a home-and-home series with Dakota State University on Dec. 2 and Dec. 30, with the Tigers hosting the Trojans on Dec. 2.

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