The Washington football team will play inside an essentially empty Husky Stadium this season.
Of course, when it announced a truncated seven-game conference-only season this fall, the Pac-12 strictly prohibited fans from attending games. But individual programs were allowed to present a proposal to local health authorities to allow a limited number of player guests — such as parents or other family members — to watch games in person.
Washington’s proposal has been denied by state officials, a university spokesperson confirmed Wednesday.
In a letter to parents obtained by The Seattle Times, UW athletics director Jen Cohen wrote that the state’s decision was due to “an increase in the (COVID-19) infection rate and indications of increased community spread across our county and state.”
“As you guys know, we are pushing for that,” UW head coach Jimmy Lake said Monday, when asked about the prospect of players’ families attending home games. “We think the parents and families of our players should be able to watch their sons play here in Husky Stadium.
“We have a huge stadium, 72,000. It would be great just to get them all spaced out. We’ve seen other teams that have been able to do that across the country and even in the NFL. We definitely are trying to work toward that. Our administration has worked tirelessly to try to get that done.”
In the end, that work did not pay dividends for UW.