SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – People were standing line, having mobile tickets at the ready and vaccination cards in hand at the entrance of the Viejas Arena at San Diego State University on Wednesday night.
All for the moment that SDSU basketball fans have been waiting for — to see their teams taking the court for the first time in 20 months.
"We have been counting the days. We cannot wait to be inside,” Robin McKinney, a SDSU basketball fan, said.
"We're excited to get back. It's been way too long. We're excited to get in there and feel the energy,” said fan Erik Carlson.
Before fans could get their popcorn ready, they had to follow the new entry protocols to get inside Viejas Arena.
"Our big thing is making sure that everybody has the vaccination and or a testing result. And they'll be able to get in showing either of those,” Chuck Lang, Executive Associate Director For Business Administration at San Diego State University, said.
The athletic department and university are following the guidelines set by the state and county for indoor mega events.
It saw a first taste of the process for the women's basketball exhibition game on Monday.
"We didn't have a big crowd. So, this one we feel is the first test and we're hoping to learn a lot with this game and we'll be prepared,” Lang said.
Regardless of if you're a fan who might be seeing their first game or their latest, you'll have to wear a mask inside except when eating or drinking.
"I think people have gotten more used to it and we're expecting that people will follow our guidelines,” Lang said. "We'll ask them to put it on and engage them and try to find ways to have people want to do it."
Creating a fun and safe environment for all, that's the name of the game. It's something fans are handling in order to cross over back into the stands.
"We're prepared for it. We know that if we come to this type of environment that we have to follow the rules,” Carlson said.
"I have a lot of confidence in the Aztec basketball fans. I think they want to be here. I think they want to support the team. I think they want to be safe,” McKinney said.