DES MOINES, IOWA — Governor Kim Reynolds is asking Drake University to reconsider its limit on fans at the state’s high school Track and Field Championships, suggesting that COVID-19 mitigation efforts are too strict.
Governor Reynolds addressed the issue in a letter to Drake University Athletics Director Brian Hardin addressed Tuesday, May 4th. In the letter, Reynolds raises concern about Drake Stadium considering limiting capacity to 33% for the upcoming championship meet from May 20th-22nd, 2021. The IHSAA website says athletes will be limited to two tickets each per session and unused tickets will be distributed equally among schools.
Governor Reynolds argues in the letter that other states have held outdoor events without what she calls “arbitrary capacity limits.” She highlights the Kentucky Derby as one such event held outdoor without capacity limits. Kentucky currently has a COVID-19 seven-day positivity rate of 8.2% – more than twice that of the state of Iowa.
The Governor closed her letter to Hardin by asking him to consider the harm that capacity limits could inflict. “I understand it is your decision whether to impose arbitrary capacity limits. But if you do, somewhere in Iowa, a mother will learn she cannot watch her daughter run a relay or throw a discus because Drake University decided that an outdoor stadium was not safe enough,” she writes.
Drake University has not released a public statement on the Governor’s letter. WHO 13 is reaching out to the school for a response.
The Governor’s full letter is below: