BATON ROUGE – Amid a disappointing start to its football season and spotty enforcement of its own rules, LSU announced Friday it will lift coronavirus safety precautions at Tiger Stadium.
The school’s athletics department said it will no longer mandate that attendees either be vaccinated or test negative for COVID within 72 hours of kickoff. Though the decision to require the shot was a controversial one among fans, enforcement of the rules was anecdotally inconsistent on game day during the first three home games of the season.
Friday’s announcement came with extreme frustration for some longtime season ticket holders. One couple who cancelled their season tickets over the COVID guidelines this year told WBRZ the mixed messages being sent by the state are confusing.
“They can do all the numbers about the downturn in COVID, but COVID is still available for anybody,” Mark Rumfello said. “So, why are you changing the mandates now? I got very aggravated with the flip flop.”
Rumfello cancelled his season tickets this season over the pre-check mandates and vaccine requirements. He said season tickets have been in his family since the 1960’s.
“It was very difficult because my mom and dad worked for LSU and got the tickets initially and my dad went,” Rumfello said. “He passed in 1980 and grandfathered them into me. So we went every year from that point.”
In a news release announcing the change in policy, the university pointed to a “consistent and significant decline in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations” as the main reason for its sudden about-face on the issue.
Written by Jeremy Krail and Chris Nakamoto