WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita State basketball fans returned to Charles Koch Arena for the first time in 277 days on Thursday after Wichita State Athletics had been granted permission by Sedgwick County to allow 5% capacity — about 525 fans — for men and women’s basketball games this week.
For the Lady Shockers’ game against the South Dakota Coyotes, all season ticket holders were permitted to attend.
“Even though the past four games have only been on the radio, every single game, I’ve been interacting like I would if I was there,” said longtime Wichita State fan Emma Jones. “It’s a huge part of my life.”
Fans ages five and older were required to wear a mask at all times, unless actively eating or drinking, and social distancing guidelines were enforced, with six feet in between groups.
“I heard a lot of cheering from fans that we had last year that I recognized,” said senior guard Mariah McCully, who scored a team-high 16 points. “It felt good to know that they are that loyal that they would come with everything going on.”
Wichita State fell behind early and wouldn’t recover in a 62-54 loss. Next up, WSU opens American Athletic Conference play with two road contests beginning with a trip to Tulsa to face the Golden Hurricane on Dec. 16.