AUSTIN (KXAN) — Last week, Texas athletics director Chris Del Conte emailed season ticket holders that the school was planning on having 50% capacity at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. On Wednesday, interim school president Jay Hartzel brought that into question.
In his weekly letter to the UT community, Hartzel announced that the school was looking at just 25% capacity, including students. The move comes at the urging of Kevin Eltife, the Chairman of the UT System Board of Regents, according to Hartzel.
“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,” Hartzel wrote. “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.”
The Texas athletics website lists official stadium capacity as 100,119, but the largest crowd in stadium history is 103,507, which came during the USC game in 2018.
The school is continuing to explore a range of options, but with 50% occupancy serving as the maximum. That number comes as a result of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order that currently allows for 50% capacity at professional and collegiate outdoor stadiums throughout the state.
Dr. Escott tweeted Thursday that everyone should sit on the couch for Longhorn games, rather than in a seat at DKR.