Dragons will start winter season with no fans for home athletic events

Minnesota State Moorhead won't allow fans for first two weekends of home sporting events due to the coronavrius pandemic

Minnesota State Moorhead is scheduled to start is men's and women's basketball seasons on Jan 2. The Dragons won't allow fans in games played at Alex Nemzek Fieldhouse for the first couple weeks of the season. David Samson / The Forum

MOORHEAD — Minnesota State Moorhead won’t allow fans for its first two weekends of home events for the winter sports season due to the coronavirus pandemic, including the Dragons men’s basketball games against Augustana University in early January.

The Dragons host the Vikings on Jan. 2 and 3 at Alex Nemzek Fieldhouse to kick off the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference season. The NSIC is only playing conference games this season.

“I’m hopeful for our student-athletes that fans can be part of this at some point,” MSUM athletic director Doug Peters said. “Fans would be a great addition to the games. … First and foremost we want to be safe.”

The Dragons are also set to host Southwest Minnesota State on Jan. 6 in wrestling and Minnesota-Crookston on Jan. 7 and 8 in women’s basketball. No fans will be allowed at those scheduled events.

All home MSUM sporting events will be streamed live, while Dragons home basketball games will be broadcast on WDAY Xtra in addition to livestreaming. The livestreams can be found on multiple Dragons digital platforms and the NSIC Network.


“We know that our fans will get to experience it in a different way,” Peters said. “We are proud to have one of the best TV and streaming productions in the country for our fans to enjoy the game and a great TV partner.”

The start of the NSIC winter season was pushed back and shortened due to COVID-19. For basketball, teams will play the same opponent on back-to-back weekend days with a single-gender site schedule. For example, the Dragons women’s team is playing at Augustana, while the men’s team hosts Augustana on those same days. The league is scheduled to play eight weekends for a 16-game regular season.

“We were definitely fired up (earlier this week) when we were walking through our event planning meeting, so that was a good feeling,” Peters said. “I’ve always held out the hope that we would be competing this (school) year and now that’s going to come to reality in the next couple weeks.”

Peterson covers college athletics for The Forum, including Concordia College and Minnesota State Moorhead. He also covers the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks independent baseball team and helps out with North Dakota State football coverage. Peterson has been working at the newspaper since 1996.
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