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.


Photo of a girl weariing a mask and backpack
Austin ISD: mask policy to remain after new CDC guidance

The district said it would continue to require masks at least through the end of the current school year.

I-35 delays
Early morning I-35 delays expected May 15 as TxDOT finishes demolition of US 183 ramp in North Austin

TxDOT will close mainlanes on I-35 in North Austin early in the morning of May 15 as it demolishes a ramp.

The city of Austin's Smart Mobility Office has partnered with Ford on self-driving vehicle initiatives. (Courtesy Ford Motor Company)
Austin's transportation department paving the way for rise in autonomous vehicle traffic

Several private companies are working on autonomous vehicle initiatives in Austin in addition to the city's own smart infrastructure planning.

Goodfolks plans to open in late July to early August. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
New restaurant coming to Georgetown; new Hutto community to have nearly 1K lots and more top Central Texas news

Read the top business and community news from the past week from Central Texas.

COVID-19 precautions such as a masking requirement remain in place at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. (Courtesy Austin-Bergstrom International Airport)
'Signs of hope' on the horizon at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport after year-plus dip in air travel

Rising passenger counts, new airline operations and an increase in vaccinations could all support the airport's recovery in 2021.

A University of Texas office tower is under development at the downtown Central Health site formerly home to the Brackenridge hospital campus. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Central Health's 'cornerstone' downtown site moving forward on path to redevelopment

Much of the site's future scope is yet to be determined ahead of a May 20 rezoning hearing before City Council.

Photo of a man climbing on a rock wall
Four Austin institutions celebrate anniversaries

Crux Climbing Center and Austin Vet Hospital are among the businesses hitting milestones in May.

Capital Metro bus
Capital Metro announces increased transit services for Austin FC games this season

Capital Metro has increased the frequency of several bus routes for Austin FC game days at Q2 Stadium.

CDC ends all mask requirements for fully vaccinated people

The guidance states fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks indoors or outdoors.

The property has been a redevelopment and neighborhood revitalization target for years. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin evaluating 6 plans to redevelop 19-acre St. John site into mixed-use district

The city has long been seeking to rejuvenate the St. John neighborhood property off I-35 with new housing, retail and recreational space.