UMass Amherst is allowing spectators at its sporting events for the first time since the pandemic.

AMHERST, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- UMass Amherst is allowing spectators at its sporting events for the first time since the pandemic. That first game was held Thursday afternoon as the UMass women’s soccer team enjoyed having fans in the stands at McGuirk Alumni Stadium.

Meredith Wolf is finally getting the moment she’s been waiting for more than a year - being able to watch her daughter play soccer in-person, as she took the drive from New Jersey to Amherst to see Thursday’s game.

“Oh my gosh, I’m so excited. I wasn’t sure I was going to make it. I got off of work and I am so excited to watch her play live,” Wolf explained, adding “It’s been such a long time and so hard on the girls with all the COVID restrictions and everything and to get her back out there and see her do what she loves.”

However, Wolf being able to see her daughter do what she loves means following strict COVID protocols.

UMass Athletics is limiting games to only player guest lists, no fans of visiting teams, they must wear a face covering at all times, and they must stay six feet apart from other people outside their household.

UMass students told Western Mass News they're fine with the guidance.

“I think that’s alright. I mean I’m sure they’re going to do it the right way,” said UMass senior Jonny Kelley.

One team UMass fans would have liked to see play in person: the men’s hockey team.

“It’s definitely an unfortunate time because UMass hockey. It’s always been big since the four years we’ve been here and like, they just won the Hockey East, so obviously people would want to go and see them actually in the Mullins Center and all that,” said Kyle Balis.

More restrictions will be lifted on April 1. That's when UMass staff and students can start going to games, but only if the first week goes well.

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