PHOENIX — Update (Dec. 22): Due to COVID-19, the Guaranteed Rate Bowl has been canceled. The game was scheduled for Dec. 26 at Chase Field in downtown Phoenix. The Fiesta Bowl will be played without fans, the Fiesta Bowl Organization previously announced.
The 2021 Playstation Fiesta Bowl at State Farm Stadium will be played without fans, the Fiesta Bowl Organization announced on Thursday, becoming the first of Arizona's three big winter events to make that decision.
The Waste Management Phoenix Open said in August that it hoped to have some fans at the 2021 tournament, but a final decision on whether or not that will happen has not yet been made.
Barrett-Jackson, which typically draws thousands of car sellers, buyers, and enthusiasts to the Valley, is also planning to have its event in January with some restrictions in place. However, details on what those restrictions will be have not been announced yet.
"While we are disappointed that the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl will not have fans in the stadium to enjoy Bowl Season this year, we respect the decisions made by the local authorities," said Mike Nealy, executive director of the Fiesta Bowl Organization, in a statement.
"Our staff was incredibly diligent to put health and safety measures in place that earned the endorsement from the Governor's Office for policies that aligned with recommendations for reducing COVID-19 transmission risk. Ultimately, we all need to do our part to ensure the health and safety of our community to reduce the spread of COVID-19," he said.
A limited number of family members of the teams competing would be allowed to watch the game inside the stadium, organizers said. The Arizona Cardinals recently announced that their upcoming home game against the Los Angeles Rams would not have fans, aside from some staff members and players' families.
The Fiesta Bowl is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Jan. 2, 2021.
The Guaranteed Rate Bowl, which is also part of the Fiesta Bowl Organization, is scheduled for 8:15 p.m on Dec. 26, 2020 at Chase Field in downtown Phoenix. That game will also not have any fans in attendance, due to COVID-19 concerns.
On Wednesday, Gov. Doug Ducey issued new guidelines for large events in Arizona.
While events with more than 50 people are prohibited by executive order, cities, towns, and the Arizona Department of Health Services can approve events, as long as there are COVID-19 restrictions in place.
Gov. Ducey mandated that if an event is approved, the COVID-19 safety protocols must be posted on that city's website and that the city and organizers have to enforce those rules.
Over the last month or so, several popular events in the Valley have been canceled due to concerns about large crowds and COVID-19: Fantasy of Lights Parade in Tempe, APS Light Parade in Phoenix, Tempe Festival of the Arts, Ironman race in Tempe, and the 2021 Innings Festival.