One of the initial concrete changes for the 2020 season of the Texas football program was just announced for seating capacity alterations at each home game.
The upcoming 2020 college football season is very much in jeopardy, at least compared to how it was planned to go, in the midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic. With the COVID-19 pandemic still very much a reality for most countries around the globe, the Texas football program is not one to be spared by the impact it will carry into the fall.
One of the areas that the COVID-19 pandemic will impact the Longhorns football program was reported by the Houston Chronicle on the morning of July 20. According to that aforementioned report from Reid Laymance of the Houston Chronicle on Monday morning, the Longhorns are planning on 50 percent stadium capacity for attendance at home games this fall.
This report was first found in a letter sent by Texas athletic director Chris del Conte to season ticketholders early this week. The letter detailed that all football season ticket holds should have seats for any scheduled games this fall, but some “may be moved to different sections”.
While this news isn’t as much of a significant alteration as other Division 1 football programs and conferences are making around the country, it is still one to note, and something that could continue to adjust as we move closer to the planned kickoff of the 2020 season. At least there is something concrete for a planned adjustment to the 2020 season in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Moreover, according to a newsletter in the Forty Acres Insider from del Conte back on July 14, the priority for sports (namely football) this fall will be keeping all players, staff, and fans safe. Here’s some key points for which del Conte has discussed in the last seven days regarding safety and adjustments in 2020.
“And with that said, there have been a number of conversations across our nation about the health crisis we’re in and how that impacts athletics this fall,” Del Conte said. “I want to make one thing abundantly clear — financial ramifications and challenges will not play any part in our decision to play football or any of our sports.
“If we can safely play under directives or guidelines that are established, we will. We continue to prepare for our seasons, and our teams that have been onboarded are training hard. We are planning on returning safely to play under the guidelines set forth by our medical teams, but rest assured, we will continue to keep Longhorn Nation abreast of adjustments, changes or updates.”
Texas is supposed to open up the 2020 season on Sep. 5 at home at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium against the South Florida Bulls out of the American Athletic Conference. They would have five more home games after that point, including the Big 12 home opener at DKR against the West Virginia Mountaineers on Oct. 17.
On the official Texas athletics website, the capacity of DKR is listed at 100,119. That would put the capacity for this fall with the planned adjustments right around 50,000. The Big 12 is still planning, as of July 20, to play an out-of-conference and conference slate of games this fall.