Photo: Fans can attend Delta College athletic events free of charge for the next two years. The football team will be playing this season at McNair High School, also for free admission. (COURTESY OF DELTA COLLEGE ATHLETICS)

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Supporters of Delta College athletics can watch the Mustangs play at home for the next two years at the most reasonable price imaginable.

Delta College Athletic Director Tony Espinoza announced free admission for all of Delta’s regular season home events for the 2022-23 and 2023-24 seasons. The exception will be playoff contests, where the prices are controlled by the California Community College Athletic Association.

Espinoza said there were several reasons for the decision.

“Looking at our current times, it’s been a little bit of a struggle for people who have gone through financial hard times,” Espinoza said. “We want people to attend but don’t want this to be an additional financial concern to see their son, daughter grandson or granddaughter play sports.

“That’s how it started. We discussed how to fund that, and luckily we’ve had success reaching out to community for support.

He stated that Port of Stockton and Central State Credit Union have signed on as sponsors, and that the college generates about $20,000 per season from home attendance.

The Delta College women's soccer team opens their 2022 home schedule on Sept. 9 versus West Valley College. (COURTESY OF DELTA COLLEGE ATHLETICS)

Delta had free admission at its sports events during the 2020-21 season by default due to Covid, and Espinoza said attendance increased without any publicity. The Covid protocols are now relaxed on campus.

“It sounds like really good thing. I'm excite, and hopefully people will want to come out and experience college (sports) again,” Delta football coach Gary Barlow said. “From my perspective, I'm just very happy be able practice, and get together and lift weights again.”

Excited and hopefully people will want to come out and experience college fb again.

Delta’s first home game of the season will occur Aug. 26 when the men’s soccer team plays host to the College of Marin at 5 p.m. Other fall sports include women’s soccer (first home match: Sept. 9), volleyball (Sept. 1), women’s water polo (Aug, 28), men’s water polo (Sept. 16) and football (Sept. 10).

The football team will have a new home for the season and will play at McNair High School. Espinoza said the reason for the move was because of the aging turf at Delta’s DeRicco Field, and facility improvements are being discussed and reviewed.

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