Tailgating Welcome at Ames' Haunted Forest for Cyclone Home Game


Lynn Ballard, Owner of the Haunted Forest

AMES, Iowa -- Iowa State University tells 15-thousand fans allowed at this weekend's home game against Oklahoma that they can't tailgate on university owned property.

However, a nearby lot owner says he has permission from the city and the state to host as many RV's that want to park.

"We can meet all the limitations set by Governor Reynolds, the City of Ames, the City of Ames Attorney, the Cyclone Care Campaign to prove that the Cyclone fans can celebrate smart with social distancing, keeping the fans in a group."

Lynn Ballard owns a grass lot east of Jack Trice Stadium in Ames where the Haunted Forest typically is.

This year, Ballard says his family decided to call off the Halloween favorite for the first time in 20 years.

He says it was too much of a health safety risk for his actors and the Ames community.

"We have about 40-actors from Iowa State. And we just didn't feel that it was worth the risk with COVID-19 as serious as it is this year, the outbreaks in Ames, Ames being one of the true hot spots. We just couldn't risk their safety."

Ballard says his tailgating staff will stop people from gathering in groups of 10-or-more, and they won't allow people to roam from group to group, or in and out of the lot.

He says its his 'responsibility' to to enforce everyone's safety.

"Not knowing how bad this could get and knowing (Governor Reynolds) could close the operation down. This just isn't the time to risk the time and effort with so much on the line. We're all in this together to make good decisions for the safety of all."

Iowa State is requiring everyone on campus to wear a mask, and masks are required for fans at tomorrow night's game.

Ballard says he hopes everyone wears a mask, and it won't be too difficult to maintain six-feet of social distance on the 11-acre lot.

"We could have 100 campers and keep them very social distanced, and I think, do everything we're supposed to."

The Cyclones play #18 Oklahoma tomorrow night. Kickoff is at 6:30 p.m.


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