No tailgating allowed: UT announces changes to game day experience

Horns Report

AUSTIN (KXAN) — With just over a week before the Longhorns open the season at Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium against UTEP, the school officially announced just how different a game day will look in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

Capacity will be capped at just 25%, which will result in less than 25,000 fans. The limits on fan attendance were expected. The stadium can normally hold more than 100,000 fans, but because of construction, the biggest crowd last year was 98,763 against LSU.

One move that comes as a bit of a surprise has to do with the Longhorn Band, which won’t perform during the season opener for a multitude of reasons. The school cited the fact that there’s simply not enough known about the transmission of the virus while performing. The Showband of the Southwest also doesn’t know how many members of the band are willing to attend games and perform this season.

Just because the LHB won’t be performing this week, doesn’t mean that move is permanent for the 2020 season. But if it did make an appearance, it would be limited to just 60 members.

While the band won’t be in attendance for at least the season opener, Texas cheer and pom, Hook ‘Em, Bevo and Smokey the Cannon will still be at the games.

Outside of the stadium, things will look plenty different, as well. Tailgating is prohibited, and Bevo Boulevard, Smokey’s Midway and Longhorn City Limits are all canceled for the season. The newly-opened Hall of Fame in the north end zone is closed for the fall, both during the week and on game days.

Because so many fans won’t be allowed to attend the games, Texas is making up for it with new opportunities to be a part of the action through social media on the Texas Longhorns app and website. If fans still want to be seen at the stadium, like in the MLB, they can pay for a cardboard cutout of themselves to be placed in the stands.

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