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Dragons athletics set fan policies for fall sports season home events

Minnesota State Moorhead is requiring spectators to wear masks for all indoor events during the fall sports season for COVID-19 safety protocols.

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Minnesota State Moorhead has set its fan policies for home sporting events during the 2021 fall season for COVID-19 safety protocols. David Samson / The Forum

MOORHEAD — Minnesota State Moorhead has decided on its fan policies for home events during the fall sports season for COVID-19 safety protocols, and they include requiring spectators to wear masks for all indoor events.

Outdoor events don’t require masks, but masks are required if you enter Alex Nemzek Hall for concessions, restrooms or ticketing regardless if the event is indoors or outdoors. MSUM interim athletic director Chad Markuson said the athletic department’s indoor masking requirements are consistent with the university’s campus rules.

“Our current policy on campus is masking for all indoor activities, so we’re following that,” said Markuson, in his first school year as interim AD. “Any time they come into Nemzek Hall, they need to be masked.”

Markuson, who had been an assistant or deputy athletic director at MSUM for nine years before he took over as interim, said no attendance limits have been set at this time for fall sporting events. Markuson added physical distancing is encouraged at both outdoor and indoor events.

The Dragons have football, volleyball, women’s soccer and men’s and women’s cross country during the fall.

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“The fans change the whole atmosphere on game day and it’s going to be nice to add their energy to all of our games, and even more exciting just to have fall sports playing again,” Markuson said.

The Dragons' first home volleyball competition is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 21, against Minot State in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play. MSUM's first home football game is slated for noon Saturday, Sept. 11, against Winona State at Scheels Field at Alex Nemzek Stadium.

The Dragons Twilight cross country meet is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 10, at Bluestem. The women’s soccer team has already hosted home exhibition events. All MSUM fall sports had their seasons canceled last fall due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“I think there’s more excitement, just visiting with the fall sports (athletes),” Markuson said. “The returners have a different level of appreciation.”

MSUM had COVID-altered winter and spring sports seasons the previous school year with a very limited number of events allowing fans.

Markuson said non-vaccinated athletes are being tested weekly, adding the athletic department is “strongly encouraging” all athletes to get vaccinated.

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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