Austin Mayor Concerned About Planned UT Crowd Size
Austin Mayor Steve Adler weighed in on the University of Texas' potential plan to allow 25% capacity for home games.
Speaking with Impact News' Christopher Neely, Adler expressed major concerns over gathering as many as 25,000 people at Darrell K. Royal Memorial Stadium later in the fall.
"I hope they don't really try to do this," Adler said. "I'm not sure there's anywhere in the world that's having gatherings that size at this point."
The plan was recently floated by UT interim president Jay Hartzell in a letter.
Hartzell said UT System Board of Regents Chairman Kevin Eltife made the request to review the logistics of 25% capacity for home games at Darrell K. Royal Memorial Stadium for the year.
As we’ve planned for the fall semester, one of the common questions we’ve heard from our community is: How do we expect our athletic events, and football in particular, to take place? We have been exploring a range of scenarios surrounding crowd attendance for upcoming football games at DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium, with a maximum occupancy of up to 50% of crowd capacity.
Kevin Eltife, Chairman of the UT System Board of Regents, has requested that the university continue to review its policies and specifically explore the logistics, health and safety effects of crowds at 25% of capacity (including students).
The analysis of this new crowd size target is a reflection of the consistent change and uncertainty that has come with the COVID-19 pandemic. As rates in Austin and throughout Texas continue to ebb and flow, we must be agile and work consistently to develop strategies to protect the safety of our student athletes, coaches, staff members, students and all who visit our campus for athletic events. As we approach the start of the football season, we will closely monitor the spread of COVID-19 and make final decisions based on the guidance of our Board of Regents and state health officials in the coming weeks.
The athletic department already facing a potential revenue shortfall after the Big 12 recently announced its decision to reduce the schedule to nine conference games and one non-league contest.
Holding games at less than a quarter capacity would cut into the program's potential earnings even further.
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