UT looking at smaller game crowds this fall, asks students to self-quarantine ahead of fall semester

Campus officials now looking at 25% capacity at DKR, down from 50%

Talk 1370 Newsroom
July 29, 2020 - 2:29 pm
University of Texas Football

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AUSTIN (Talk1370.com) -- DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium may not be as packed as previously thought this fall after all.

University of Texas interim president Jay Hartzell, in his latest coronavirus planning update, said campus officials are looking at the "logistics, health, and safety effects" of crowds at 25 percent capacity for football games this fall.

Austin-Travis County interim health authority Dr. Mark Escott, speaking Tuesday to Travis County Commissioners, said local health officials were "caught a little off guard" by UT's plan to open the stadium at 50 percent capacity. "I think introducing the idea of having 50,000 people in one space is a bit of a reach right now," Escott said.

The stadium's official capacity is 100,119, but ongoing construction in the south end zone has reduced that to 95,594.

"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," Hartzell wrote. "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."

Additionally, the university is asking students to self-quarantine for 14 days prior to their arrival in Austin this fall. "We are relying on all students to take very seriously the responsibility of preventing the spread of COVID-19, and self-quarantining is a critical first step," Hartzell wrote.

Face masks will also be required at all times inside univeristy owned and controlled buildings. "For those who continue putting the community at risk with their behavior, corrective, disciplinary and enforcement action may be taken in accordance with the university’s guidelines for faculty, staff and students," Hartzell wrote, adding that campus officials hope to encourage compliance by increasing awareness and fostering a spirit of cooperation.

More information on the campus' response to COVID-19 is available online.

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