By Kayla Smith, Noah Cody, & Saddie Thuestad
There are 4,018 seats in the Kress Events Center arena, and not one of them has been filled by a spectator or fan yet this year for any sporting event. With sports starting back up, the lack of fans in the stands changes that atmosphere that the student-athletes play in. The University of Wisconsin- Green Bay participates in the Horizon League conference, which falls under the NCAA rules and guidelines for COVID-19 protocol in-game settings.
In addition to there being no fans allowed at the games, players and staff also are required to wear a face mask at all times, chairs have to be properly spaced out, and they have to get tested at least once a week to stay eligible to play in upcoming games.
Even though there is a lack of cheering from fans that can’t be in attendance at home games, the volleyball team doesn’t lack energy while on the court. Senior right-side and middle-blocker Anna Eaton says, “As a team, we have always talked about creating our own energy and focusing on our team and our side of the court. The people on the bench have a huge responsibility always to be energizers no matter what is going on with the game.” Redshirt Freshman middle-blocker Rylee Boyd notices the difference between there being no fans at the home games. She says, “Between plays right before the serve, it also gets very silent, so that’s a little different than having background noise of fans.”
Fans of Green Bay athletic teams can still stay involved with watching and supporting their favorite teams. Social media accounts for each sport post updates and information on upcoming games and events. Even though fans are not allowed to support the team in the arena, they can still cheer on their favorite teams through broadcasts on ESPN+ or ESPN3.