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Fans return to first Hog football game with new COVID-19 guidance

Hog fans are excited to be back at full capacity inside Razorback Stadium and celebrate a win as the university follows new COVID-19 guidelines.

Following the University of Arkansas win over Rice University, many fans celebrated along Dickson Street in downtown Fayetteville.

“Things are back to normal,” said University of Arkansas senior Alexis Smith. “So, we’re enjoying it a lot,” Smith continued. Smith and her friend Abigail Crelia are longing for normalcy like many hog fans are.

“We’ve been cooped up and masked for a long time. Not that I’m not saying masks are bad, they’re good too. But it’s nice to have a little bit of a glimpse of what it was like before,” said Lora Brashear, a Hog fan cheering on her daughter in the band.

After the game, Dickson Street began to get crowded with people. Many people unmasked, but outdoors. Businesses make the choice of whether customers must mask up indoors. To help get to this point, Hog fans are pointing at several reasons.

“Being vaccinated, wearing a mask, like things like that that people don’t really want to do,” said Smith.

As for during the game at Razorback Stadium, masks are highly encouraged but not required.

“We have two girls with us that are both unable to be vaccinated. So, they’ve been wearing their mask.” Mother of two Ruth Parcells says this is her first Razorback football game. She says she’s satisfied with the university’s policy, which only requires masks while indoors or when social distancing is not possible. “We had a great time here at the game. “We wore our masks when we were at the crowded sections in the stadium,” Parcells said. “We were able to take them off when we were inside our seats.”

Saturday’s atmosphere brought years-long Hog fans back to 2019 with tailgating and the stadium back to full capacity.

“The atmosphere is amazing, and we’re excited it’s at 100%,” said Brashear.

Although the Razorbacks might be at full capacity, were told Saturday’s game was not a sellout. Out of the 76,000 seats available, 64,065 tickets were sold to attend Saturday’s game.