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Fans reconnect at tailgating parties ahead of University of Utah v. Weber State game

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Salt Lake City, Utah — Football game between Weber State University and the University of Utah brought the largest crowd ever to Rice Eccles Stadium. “It feels good to be normal again,” said Drew Fleming.

The stadium was surrounded by tens of thousands of fans reconnect at tailgate parties. “I think everybody is way excited to be back this year. We can’t wait for football to start back up,” said Talese Francis Coni.

Players’ parents are the most excited for kick-off. “I am so excited. I am so excited! This opportunity to play football and to be a starter, is huge,” said Veronica Hernandez who flew from California to watch her son, Brandon McKinney, start for the Utes. “Hell yeah. The first game of the season” said WSU’s Dallin Jamison’s mother Brady Jamison.

This year, fans are encouraged to wear masks inside the stadium. “We have our masks and we will wear them when we get in there but we are super excited,” said Brandy Jamison.

Thousands of fans appear unconcerned about the rising COVID-19 rates caused by the delta variant. “No. We are not worried,” said Fleming.

Healthcare workers expressed concern about holding the game at full capacity during this stage in the pandemic where the healthcare system is overwhelmed.

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