California State University, East Bay Unsure of Fan Attendance for Fall

Ryan Duarte


California is in a transition period of the Covid-19 pandemic to the state reopening. This tough period is also leaving the possibility of California State University, East Bay sports matches in jeopardy of having fans in attendance.
On June 15, Calif. eased most restrictions on big crowds and businesses. This included limiting social distancing measures, reducing limits on businesses’ occupancies, and the use of a county tier system that has become popular throughout the pandemic. However, these loosening restrictions have left CSUEB interim athletic director Bill Nepfel in a tough position.
“We are meeting constantly and conditions are changing rapidly,” said Nepfel, who took over as interim AD on April 12.
“Having said that, there have been limited final decisions and nothing exciting to share with you… We do not know if fans will be allowed, to be clear, we also don’t know if fans are NOT allowed! Still being discussed.”
The current plan for East Bay Athletics is for matches and games to continue as scheduled. However, allowing fans back to University stadiums has been tough to address with little news from the California State University system.
“Like every department, we are awaiting the final CSU written policy on vaccinations. But – that policy will not go into effect until at least one of the three major vaccines moves from Emergency Use to full FDA approval,” Nepfel added.
About 45% of the Californian population is now vaccinated, according to data obtained from John Hopkins University. This is about on par with the rest of the U.S., as about 46% of the US population is also fully vaccinated.
However, the real struggle lies upon indoor matches for sports such as basketball, where indoor stadiums are more susceptible to problems with Covid-19 cases than the outdoor Pioneer Stadium. Travel is also a big factor.
The biggest priority of the California State University chancellor should be the health and safety of everyone, including its athletes. Finding a common ground with the fear of another spike in cases in Calif. should be on everyone’s mind. Although, a hasty decision to allow fans at games followed by a quick backtrack due to a rise in coronavirus cases could spell disaster for any school, especially if its athletes and fans are involved.
For more information on how California is reopening and what to look for as the state continues in this transition period of the pandemic, please visit