Fans won’t get to sit in stands. But their cutouts will.

The guidelines laid out by the California Department of Public Health say sports can continue without live audiences in Fresno County. (The Collegian Archive)

Fans may not be physically in attendance for football games this season at Bulldog Stadium, but Fresno State Athletics found a way to have their presence in the stands.

Fresno State, like many other teams in all of sports, announced on Monday that fans can purchase a cardboard cutout to place in the bleachers of Bulldog Stadium.

Cutouts will cost fans $60 and must be submitted by today in order for it to be at all four home games. Any submission after that date will only be for the three remaining games. All proceeds will benefit student-athletes and nutrition programming.

Fans like Emilia Torres, a 1991 Fresno State graduate, will be purchasing a cutout in support of the Bulldogs.

“I saw that the baseball games were doing it,” Torres said. “So if I can’t be there in person to cheer them on, well then my image of me in the cardboard cutout will be there in order to cheer the team on.”

Senior defensive lineman Kevin Atkins said in a news conference that the defense is going to bring their own juice to the game this season, feeding off each other since there won’t be any fans to fuel them.

“This is not an ordinary season,” Atkins said. “It’s internal motivation that you really have to rely on. You gotta get jumping in the crowd by yourself. It is you and your teammates.”

However, the possibility of there being fans at Fresno State football games is not completely out the window.

California moved to a color-coded tier list system to determine the reopening phases for each county. Fresno County has been on the red tier for almost three weeks, which is labeled at substantial. 

If Fresno County can make its way down tiers, the thought of fans at Fresno State football games could become reality. 

Even on the road, there is a shot for the Red Wave to cheer on the Bulldogs.

UNLV recently filed a plan to have fans at games in their inaugural season at the new Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, a home they share with the Las Vegas Raiders.

Even if that was the case, Torres would not risk going to any games this year.

“Sadly, I will not go to any games due to the COVID-19 pandemic and my present age as well as having a few of the medical conditions that puts me at high risk,” Torres said. “If there was a good immunization shot to protect against it, I would go but sadly there is none.”

Fresno State will host Hawaii next Saturday, Oct. 24 at 4:30 p.m.

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