Virginia Tech's Athletic Department Remaining Afloat Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted individuals in profound ways far-and-wide, as countries across the world attempt to find stability amidst so much uncertainty.
On a much smaller scale, departments across college athletics have been seeking ways to curb losses and stabilize financially - while keeping respective student-athletes safe from illness.
Virginia Tech is not immune to the financial uncertainty that comes with being a major player in the college athletics landscape. While there are plenty of unknowns associated with the ongoing pandemic, Virginia Tech Director of Athletics Whit Babcock remains hopeful that Tech can continue to press forward.
"Thankfully, we've had no cuts or furloughs within the athletic department due to COVID. That could always change, but I'm hopeful that will continue," Babcock said in a Zoom call with the media on Wednesday.
"The impact of the pandemic won't be fully known for several months. It's deeply concerning, but there are a lot of factors that can swing it one way or another," he continued.
While uncertainty remains about the future viability of not only Virginia Tech's athletic department, but athletic departments across the college sports landscape, Babcock believes that schools will have the requisite support they need.
"I'm hopeful that with the resources in this league (ACC), we can make it through as a conference without schools cutting sports. I'm concerned about it, but hopeful that we can make it. I give the Hokie Club and our football season ticket holders a great deal of credit for their continuing support and generosity throughout the pandemic," Babcock said.
Despite football being far from a certainty, especially with fans in the stands, Virginia Tech's season ticket sales for home games have been better than anticipated.
"There's certainly a chance that we have no fans in Lane Stadium this fall, but our capacity with the current environment will likely land somewhere between 30 and 36 percent. Season tickets are down about 4,000 orders overall - and while that may not seem like a great number, it is not as bad as we expected," Babcock said.
Life inside and outside of college athletics remains extremely uncertain, but Babcock's optimism for Virginia Tech both now and in the future continues to ring true with fall sports fast approaching.