Restrictions lifted for state track meet

Iowa High School Athletic Association release

DES MOINES – Attendance limitations have been removed for this week’s Iowa High School State Track & Field Championships following updated public health guidance and coordination with Drake University and Polk County Health Department. 

The three-day IHSAA and IGHSAU meet at Drake Stadium will be open to all interested spectators, cancelling capacity and seating restrictions announced May 4

“Throughout the pandemic, our number one priority for hosting athletic events has been the safety of our athletes, staff, spectators, and our community. In doing so, we have followed guidance from the CDC, the Iowa Department of Public Health, the Polk County Health Department, the NCAA, and our own administration,” Drake University athletic director Brian Hardin said. “Recently released CDC guidelines encouraged us to consult with these partners and revisit stadium capacity. We look forward to once again welcoming the best high school athletes our state has to offer to compete on the world-famous Blue Oval in front of all their family and friends who wish to attend.”

Masks are strongly encouraged of all spectators at this event, especially in common areas such as concourses, concession stand lines, and restrooms.  Per CDC guidance, unvaccinated people should continue taking safety precautions before and while attending gatherings, such as wearing masks. 

Polk County Health Department reminds spectators the safest way to attend any event is to be vaccinated. A mobile vaccination clinic will be located in the Drake Stadium concourse all three days of the meet. The Pfizer vaccine will be administered by members of Drake University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, and Polk County Health Department. Anyone age 12 or older wishing to receive a vaccination will be able to do so.

The meet schedule will remain as previously planned, with six sessions taking place over three days, May 20-22. Drake Stadium will not be cleared between sessions. 

“We appreciate Drake University and Polk County Health considering the latest CDC guidance in working to provide an opportunity for all fans to attend the IHSAA and IGHSAU State Track & Field Meet,” IHSAA executive director Tom Keating said. “Competing at the Blue Oval is a dream of every high school track and field athlete. Now our student-athletes will compete in front of family, friends, classmates and other fans from across the state.” 

Tickets for all six sessions will go on sale at 12 p.m. on Tuesday, May 18. Tickets already purchased through qualifying participants are still good for their assigned sessions. 

A free video livestream is available through the Iowa High School Sports Network for those who are unable to attend. 

The attendance adjustments will allow for participating teams to view the meet from seating areas inside Drake Stadium. Coaches and student-athletes will be permitted in the stadium during all events of their assigned sessions.  

Class 2A and Class 3A boys and girls will compete in early sessions each day. Class 1A, Class 4A, and Wheelchair boys and girls competitors will be in the later session each day.

Teams are encouraged to set up camps in the previously mapped area east of the tennis center, however the video board will no longer be utilized. Lot 17, outside Drake Fieldhouse, will be reserved as a warm-up space. 

“We are thrilled with today’s news that allows fans to return to Drake Stadium without limitations,” IGHSAU executive director Jean Berger said. “Drake’s willingness to evaluate the new guidelines and adjust the capacity is truly appreciated. Our athletes absolutely love competing at Drake and the championship experience it can provide as our host.”

Media workspace will revert to previous meets, with capacity limits lifted for the press box, radio booths, and mixed zone in the stadium’s southwest corner. Media members will no longer utilize Drake Fieldhouse as a workspace. 

Access will be permitted for member school administrators with gray 2020-21 IHSAA & IGHSAU administrator passes. Complimentary entry will include one guest, as indicated on the pass. Entry for administrators and media will be located at the northwest gate (Clark St. and 28th St.) at Drake Stadium. 

All digital tickets are $10, plus processing fees, and must be purchased through the Tickets page on the IHSAA website

No promo codes or seat limits apply. Families of participants who have already purchased tickets with promo codes may purchase additional tickets through new transactions. Seating at each session is general admission. No cash sales will be conducted for tickets on site.

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