AUSTIN, Texas — As the start of the 2020 college football season comes closer, the University of Texas has released its COVID-19 safety measures and guidelines for fans looking to attend Longhorns football games in the fall.
The newly released guidelines come as UT officials continue talks with local health authorities and the Big 12 Conference about potentially dropping the capacity limit at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium from 50% to 25%.
Texas Athletic Director Chris Del Conte said the athletic department was "working closely with President Hartzell and Chairman Eltife to explore a 25% capacity model at football games this fall." Del Conte said he would keep UT fans updated in the coming weeks.
“Our priority is to create the safest game day environment for our student-athletes, coaches, game officials, fans, staff and visiting teams,” Del Conte said. “Our facilities, events, ticketing, marketing, communications and Longhorn Foundation staffs have been working on various scenarios and possibilities throughout the past four months to accomplish our priorities within State of Texas guidelines and in conjunction with medical officials. It is more important now than ever that we remain united as one with our horns held high. Whether you are attending with us in-person on game day or engaging with us from afar, your support is the lifeblood of our program. Game days at DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium are one of the most revered traditions in college sports, and we can’t wait to see the Burnt Orange and White faithful cheering on our teams this fall.”
Meanwhile, here is a look at the coronavirus guidelines that UT released Aug. 3 for fans to follow on game day:
Game day arrival and gate entry
UT has implemented a number of measures to make arrival and entry to DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium a safe experience this season including:
- Fans will be required to enter at the assigned gate listed on their mobile ticket.
- ADA guests and their accompanying seating group may enter at Gates 7, 14, 16 and 27.
- Social distancing markers will be placed at gate entry and strictly enforced to allow for social distancing.
- Clear bag policy: A clear bag policy is in effect to enhance existing security measures and expedite venue entry at Texas Athletics events on the Forty Acres.
Approved bags and items:
- Bags that are clear plastic and do not exceed 12 inches by 6 inches by 12 inches
- One-gallon clear resealable plastic storage bags
- Small clutch bags or purses do not have to be clear but cannot exceed 4.5 inches by 6.5 inches.
- Texas Athletics will allow 3.4-ounce-individual-sized hand sanitizer bottles, sanitary wipes and all applicable medical exceptions for the 2020 season.
- Diaper bags*
- Cases (camera, binocular, etc.)
- Printed pattern plastic bags
- Reusable grocery totes
- Mesh or straw bags
- Duffle bags
- Large totes
*Items normally carried in a diaper bag must be put into a clear plastic bag for venue entry.
DKR cleaning and sanitizing measures
To help prevent the spread of germs, UT said it was installing hand sanitizer kiosks throughout the stadium including 225 dispenser trees throughout the university's venues.
According to Texas Athletics, all stadium restrooms, suites and clubs, as well as the press box and locker rooms will be sanitized throughout the 2020 season. And for student-athlete safety, the turf at both Campbell-Williams Field and the Indoor Practice Facility will be treated as well.
UT officials said staff will regularly clean all high-touched surfaces with antibacterial spray and wipes at all point-of-sale locations, restroom facilities, bag check location, and other common areas including all indoor and outdoor furniture, high touch point areas (doors, door handles, walls, handrails, elevator buttons, restroom stall doors/dividers, toilets, sinks, water fountains, armrests, switches, trash cans, ticket office and will call counters and tables, cell phone charging stations, valet services, parking areas and elevator/escalator interiors and plazas).
Attendants will be assigned to each restroom throughout the stadium to monitor cleanliness throughout the game. Suite and stadium attendants will remove trash from hospitality spaces and concourses throughout the game. Additionally, staff working the bag check locations will wear gloves and will utilize wood paint sticks to limit contact with bags, UT said.
Face mask/face covering requirements
All fans and staff will be required to wear a face-covering that covers the nose and mouth completely. Face coverings are not a substitute for social distancing and fans are asked to keep a safe distance between their party and other fans while inside and outside of DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium.
Concessions safety measures
Here is a look at the safety rules and regulations in place regarding concessions:
- To provide the maximum access and social distancing measures, all concessions stands will be operational.
- Face coverings will be required to be worn by all customers and staff at all times; concessions staff will wear gloves.
- Condiment stands on the concourses will be eliminated. Pre-packaged condiments, wrapped straws and napkins will be distributed upon request by staff with each food order.
- Menu offerings will be limited to the most high-demand, fan-favorite items for speed of service and efficiency.
- Food items will be wrapped or pre-packaged and offered in easy-to-carry bags along with packaged utensils.
- Hand sanitizer will be available on concourses near all concession locations.
- All transactions will be cashless and contactless; credit or debit cards will be accepted, or fans can prepay for orders via the Texas Longhorns mobile app. Google pay and Apple pay will be payment options when ordering and paying via the Texas Longhorns mobile app. Visit TexasSports.com/GoMobile for more information and answers to some of the most frequently asked questions
- Plexiglass shields have been installed at all concessions points of sale to protect customers and staff.
- Floor decals have been installed to properly queue lines and maintain social distancing. Fans waiting in line will be asked to maintain at least six feet distance from other customers.
- A regular cleaning schedule with an emphasis on disinfecting commonly touched surfaces with antibacterial spray will be employed.
Social distancing markers and signage
Social distancing markers will be placed around the stadium in areas where lines may form such as restroom facilities, concessions and merchandise locations.
Additional wayfinding and safety signage will be added to support queuing at exterior gates, seating section entrances and parking/transportation areas.
All guests partaking in tailgating activities must adhere to local and state COVID-19 safety requirements in place at the time of the tailgate, including but not limited to face coverings, social distancing and number of attendees, according to UT Athletics. Tents may not exceed 10 feet by 10 feet and must be a minimum of 40 feet from the next tailgate setup. No tents or tailgate setups are allowed prior to 7 a.m. on game day. No overnight tailgating or camping is permitted.
Texas Athletics and Tailgate Guys have teamed up again to provide a turnkey tailgating experience for fans interested in reserving tailgate spots around DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium. In order to create a safe tailgating environment, only 10-by-10 tents may be reserved, groups must be 25 people or less and will be spaced out a minimum of 40 feet from other tailgates. All Tailgate Guys hospitality packages include tents, tables and chairs. Media and TV options may be added to every package. Full-service catering also is offered; Texas Athletics’ partnership with Tailgate Guys will provide increased sanitation/materials (including hand sanitizer trees, protocols on the movement of items to and from vehicles, as well as added attendants with a sole focus of supporting the sanitation in all regards for restrooms and tent areas. Tailgate Guys spaces do not permit fire cooking and/or grilling. Call 512-300-0382 or visit TailgateGuys.com for additional information or to reserve your spot.
According to UT, tickets for 2020 Texas football games will be allocated to renewed season ticket holders who have opted in for the 2020 season in Longhorn Foundation Loyalty Point order.
Season ticket allotments for each account are limited to the equal to the priority limit for the AT&T Red River Showdown game versus Oklahoma. See below for limits:
Total annual gift to Longhorn Foundation:
- $75,000-plus: 12 tickets
- $50,000 to $74,999: 10 tickets
- $25,000 to $49,999: eight tickets
- $10,000 to $24,999: six tickets
- $50 to $9,999: four tickets
- Non-members with season tickets: two tickets
UT students who purchase The Big Ticket will receive access to all 2020 Texas football games, officials said. Seating is general admission and students may sit in groups no larger than 10 people. Unavailable seats will be marked accordingly. Students with the Longhorn Foundation Student Membership will receive priority entry at all home games, according to UT.
Texas is scheduled to open its 2020 season on Sept. 5 against South Florida.
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