Texas season ticket holders face uncertainty regarding fall football attendance

Brittany Archer

UT alumnus Trey Schmedt has been a Texas football season ticket holder for two years. However, this year he won’t know until late August if he is able to get tickets or what the seating arrangement will look like.

“Basically, I am waiting each day for a 512 area code number to pop up,” Schmedt said. “My main question is, exactly how far away the other people are sitting? Are they five seats apart, two rows apart? Will we be checkerboarded across the stadium?”

In an email sent to season ticket holders Aug. 16, Texas Athletics Director Chris Del Conte announced that Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium will operate at a 25% capacity instead of the 50% limit Texas initially planned for.

Texas Athletics presented season ticket holders with three different options for their 2020 season tickets. Fans could choose to attend the games this season, receive a full refund or donate their 2020 balances to the Longhorn Foundation. 

Fans who do attend games will be required to wear masks inside the stadium and will be socially distanced in the stands. These new guidelines left some season ticket holders in a difficult position. 

Darell David, a season ticket holder since 1980 and a member of the Longhorn Foundation, decided to opt out of attending games to minimize any health risks.

“My wife and I are both in our 60s,” David said. “We just don’t feel like the whole process of getting into the stadium is going to be as safe as we would like it to be. I can’t even imagine trying to get 25,000 people into that stadium and keeping them that far apart.”

Although he opted out of attending games this season, David agreed with many of the guidelines Texas Athletics has set.

“The guidelines that they are coming out with have been very well vetted and researched,” David said. “I trust them. I trust Chris Del Conte and his staff to create guidelines and procedures that are as safe as you can be.” 

Schmedt has decided to keep his tickets for the season, but he said he’s still unsure if he’ll attend all the home football games because he has mixed emotions about the guidelines. He said his new seat location will also impact whether he attends the games or sells his tickets.

“I think they are trying to put us as close as to where our season tickets are originally, but I am in the lower bowl and I would not be surprised if I will be seated in the upper deck,” Schmedt said.

Despite his decision to forego in-person games in this year’s shortened season, David said he’s still excited to see the players.

“If we get 10 games this year, that will be 10 opportunities to watch the players that I love,” David said. “I’d love to see these guys play, and they’ll be awesome.” 

Schmedt said he’s going to follow the team whether he’s in the stadium or not.

“Even if they go without fans, it won’t diminish my viewership,” Schmedt said. “I am still going to follow the team regardless if there are fans or no fans in the stadium.”