PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- The teams are in town, and the excitement is building. Unfortunately, the pre-game chatter surrounding this year's big bowl games isn't focused on football.

"We really hope this game isn't canceled, and we hope other games go on also," said fan Diana Jansen.

Thousands of college football fans have come to Arizona to cheer on their favorite teams, but there's no guarantee the games will go on.

Several bowl games have already been canceled across the country because of a spike in COVID-19 cases among players and coaches.

"I'm very concerned," said West Virginia fan Dennis DeLong. "You never know because these teams are all vaccinated, but they seem to be catching it anyway."

The Barstool Arizona Bowl in Tucson announced Monday that one of its teams, Boise State, was dropping out because of a COVID-19 outbreak.

The focus is now on the Desert Financial Fiesta Bowl and Phoenix's Guaranteed Rate Bowl and whether those games will be impacted, as well.

Organizers released this statement:

“The PlayStation Fiesta Bowl and Guaranteed Rate Bowl continually work with our medical experts, stadium partners, and competing conferences and their teams to protect everyone’s health and safety and allow games to move forward safely and successfully. All parties have been managing their respective protocols throughout the year and will continue to do so through the games.

We are in constant communication with the schools. Our Guaranteed Rate Bowl teams have shared that they are ready to go for tomorrow night and preparing fully for a competitive game. One of our PlayStation Fiesta Bowl teams is already in town, and the other arrives today.

The teams have been working through health and safety protocols all year long and continue this week, as have the venues that host our games to create a safe environment for our teams and fans.”

"We are masked up at meetings, masked on buses, and team meetings are outside," said Oklahoma State head football coach Mike Gundy. "We are doing the best we can."

There have been reports of a few positive cases among Desert Financial Fiesta Bowl players, but not enough to impact either school's ability to field a team on New Years Day.

Some fans said that even if the bowl games are canceled, they can do nothing about it.

"I haven't heard anything with either team," said Minnesota fan Timothy McCloskey. "But if the games get canceled, I still get five days in Phoenix."

Copyright 2021 Gray Media Group, Inc.


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