Austin Mayor Adler on UT football: ‘I hope they don’t’ allow 25% fan capacity this fall

The Texas Longhorns held their first football practice Aug. 7. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
The Texas Longhorns held their first football practice Aug. 7. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)

The Texas Longhorns held their first football practice Aug. 7. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)

As college football season nears, questions have intensified over how Texas’ Darrell K. Royal Stadium—with its 100,000-plus seats—will look come September. Austin Mayor Steve Adler weighed in this week, criticizing a proposal to allow fans up to 25% capacity.

No plans have been set for how UT will handle fans this fall. Last month, UT-Austin Interim President Jay Hartzell said in a letter to the community that the school has been “exploring a range of scenarios surround crowd attendance” for upcoming home football games. Hartzell said the scenarios are bound by a maximum crowd capacity of 50%.

In his annual State of the City address, Adler, echoing the sentiment of the county’s top doctor and the public health department, said allowing such a large gathering could be dangerous for the community.

“I hope they don’t really try to do this,” Adler said. “I’m not sure, anywhere in the world, are such groups gathering, even in places with virus infection levels lower than ours. Our choices have consequences. People die from this virus.”

Dr. Mark Escott, Austin-Travis County interim health authority, has consistently objected to any proposal that would allow fans to gather at the stadium this fall.


“We’re not in a situation where we can take that kind of risk,” Escott said last month. “I don’t anticipate at any time this fall we’ll be in a position to take that kind of risk.”

The Longhorns football team held their first day of practice Aug. 7.
By Christopher Neely
Christopher Neely is Community Impact's Austin City Hall reporter. A New Jersey native, Christopher moved to Austin in 2016 following years of community reporting along the Jersey Shore. His bylines have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun, USA Today and several other local outlets along the east coast.


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