AUSTIN (KXAN) — Texas Longhorns Athletics Director Chris Del Conte is normally very accessible through his Twitter account. Sometimes, like on Tuesday, he offers insight into his big plans that may be coming up ahead.
On Tuesday, Twitter user Ryan Sheiner asked Del Conte if the University of Texas “was planning on having 100% capacity for football in the Fall” with the assumption that a “majority of the country is vaccinated by the end of the Summer.”
Del Conte said in response — “That’s our plan.”
That’s an optimistic statement from the man in charge of Longhorns athletics with the season more than 190 days away. However, this isn’t the first time UT has announced its intentions to host football games at full capacity in 2021.
Texas put football season ticket deposits on sale three weeks ago and posted its plans in the FAQs section of its website.
“Texas Athletics is currently planning for attendance at 2021 home games to be at 100% seating capacity. We will continue to monitor local COVID-19 health and safety conditions in coordination with NCAA, Big 12, University, state, and local medical partners,” the website reads.
Despite concerns from Austin’s health leaders, Texas Athletics allowed fans to attend 2020 home football games. UT has also allowed a limited amount of fans to attend basketball games, as well.
In 2020, Texas Football limited capacity to 25%, which was about 25,000 people at Darrell K Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium. Texas didn’t hold the usual, large-scale pre or postgame events, like Bevo Boulevard or Longhorn City Limits, to prevent congregating. UT also reorganized seating, allowing for social distancing within the stadium, required masks for entry and tested students.
UT Austin is governed by the state of Texas rather than the City of Austin and took its directives from Gov. Greg Abbott and state health leaders. In the summer, Abbott announced professional and collegiate organizations were allowed to operate outdoor stadiums with 50% capacity as long as they submitted a plan and received approval from the state.
In his most recent Forty Acres Insider newsletter, Del Conte invited fans to attend the Longhorns spring football game — tentatively set for April 24.
“Our spring football season will start a little later this year, kicking off with the first practice on March 23, and we’ll get you all the details on that and the Spring Game very soon. We’re looking at Saturday, April 24 for the Spring Game and you’ll definitely want to plan to be in Austin for that one!” Del Conte wrote in his weekly newsletter on the UT Athletics website.
On Sunday, infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN’s Dana Bash the U.S. will see a degree of “normality…as we get into the fall and winter by the end of the year.”
Texas Athletics is planning for football game attendance to go back to normal in 2021, as well.