AUSTIN, Texas - When UT Austin officials announced they would allow 25 percent capacity at the college football stadium on campus during games, city and county leaders worried it could lead to a major spread of COVID-19.
However, according to the New Yorker, Texas data suggests that hasn't happened. The New York-based magazine said a Texas DSHS database showed only 18 cases of COVID-19 linked to in-person college-football attendance. Although the information was not comprehensive.
For the final home game of the season at DKR Texas Memorial Stadium, COVID-19 guidelines remained in place.
"There’s not a lot of contact when you’re in there, you're kind of just watching the game, pretty separated," said Matthew Fehlis who attended Friday's game on campus.
That's exactly the way university officials wanted the crowd at games to be, so fans could still cheer on their team in-person without leading to COVID-19 case spikes in the community.
"I feel like everyone who was asked to wear a mask, wore one inside, and I feel like, I’ve been to a lot of games in there where it’s 100,000 people and it’s pretty packed in tight and loud, but, yeah, today I think they did a pretty good job for the most part," Fehlis said.
UT students with football season tickets had to take safety one step further than other fans, providing proof of a negative COVID-19 test before making it through the gate.
"We’ve gotten tested before every football game and, also, they’re pretty stringent on the rules when it comes to having masks on. We just saw two people get kicked out of the game for not wearing a mask," said UT student Samuel Wheeler who also attended Friday's game in person.
Wednesday, UT athletics announced guidelines for basketball games at the Erwin Center. Only season ticket holders will be able to attend those games in person.