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Omicron surge forces Gonzaga to cancel ‘Tent City’ ahead of BYU game

UPDATED: Tue., Jan. 11, 2022

Gonzaga University students try to erect their tent in the rain, as they participate in the GU Kennel Club Tent City event, Friday, Nov. 12, 2021 in Spokane. Students camp out for the night prior to the Zags playing Texas on Saturday night.  (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga University students try to erect their tent in the rain, as they participate in the GU Kennel Club Tent City event, Friday, Nov. 12, 2021 in Spokane. Students camp out for the night prior to the Zags playing Texas on Saturday night. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

The tent community that springs up before most of Gonzaga’s marquee home basketball games is taking precautionary measures as COVID-19 continues to surge throughout the Spokane region.

“Tent City,” the ticket distribution system that’s become a popular aspect of the game day experience for Gonzaga students, has been canceled ahead of Thursday’s 8 p.m. nationally televised game against BYU at McCarthey Athletic Center.

According to an email sent to Gonzaga students Monday night by Tent City coordinator Jason Siegle, university administration informed the Kennel Club it would be unable to hold Tent City on Wednesday/Thursday as the Bulldogs prepare for their highly anticipated West Coast Conference matchup with BYU.

“With the surge of Omicron cases across the country, the school would like the opportunity to gauge the threat of COVID on campus before allowing us to host an event like this,” Siegle wrote in the email.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Gonzaga still hadn’t placed any restrictions on attendance at home athletic events, including Thursday’s men’s basketball game. The university announced last week it was suspending the sale of food and beverage at all ticketed events as a way to promote mask wearing at McCarthey Athletic Center. Fans are still able to purchase bottled water at concession stands or use any of the water fountains located throughout the concourse.

The Kennel Club still expects to hold its final Tent City of the season prior to the Feb. 12 game against Saint Mary’s.

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