From Louisville Athletics...
Are you ready for some football? University of Louisville football season ticket holders will be contacted today with information on plans for attending games in Cardinal Stadium this fall.
The Atlantic Coast Conference is moving forward with plans to play football using a 10-game conference schedule with one non-conference opponent. UofL leadership continues to work collaboratively with the Governor's office and others to craft a safe, flexible ticketing and operation plan for fans at a reduced stadium capacity of 30%, allowing seating to be appropriately distanced.
UofL anticipates to admit approximately 18,000 fans per game within 60,800-seat Cardinal Stadium, although the plan is subject to change with the fluidity of the landscape. With the football season set to kick off in just 19 days on Sept. 12 against Western Kentucky, UofL needed to get the process for fan seating with season ticket holders started while plans are still being addressed.
Multiple safety measures will be in place, including temperature checks at the entrances, face coverings requirements, physical distancing within the stadium as well as parking lots for tailgating, and restrictions in some stadium areas among the plans. All ticketing for the season will be digital. A list of stadium safety measures specific to the 2020 season are listed within this link.
Stadium improvements were planned to ease entry prior to the pandemic, but as a result will now offer increased physical distancing at gates. For instance, the former ticket office and store at Gate 2 have been/will be removed to accommodate 16 openings and 32 entrances to the stadium at that one location. Additional staffing at entrances for temperature and bag checks, as well as for scanning tickets, will improve the fan entrance experience this season.
Once in the stadium, an enhanced distributed antenna system and an additional carrier to the network will improve cellular service for fans. Work continues on refurbishing the lower bowl seating with an industrial UV protective coating to renew the bright red color to the seats, with the east side seats and about half of the south end zone completed.
Season ticket holders will receive information via email addressing their specific ticket options. To allow all season ticket holders the opportunity to attend games with the limited capacity, UofL will be reaching out to all fans with information reflecting their individual status and options.
Season ticket holders will be given the opportunity to select their seat location from physically distanced sets of seats in priority point order. Priority points are awarded each year for season ticket holder longevity and donations to the Cardinal Athletic Fund. Ticketing information may be viewed online at this link.
While there is certainly excitement to offer football this season, the reality of reduced capacity will have UofL Athletics facing a $10 million deficit.
Months ago, UofL began to take multiple steps to immediately reduce expenses and mitigate potential deficits in the event an announcement like today's came to fruition:
• Implemented salary reductions across the department, starting with head coaches and senior leadership.
• Made the very difficult decision to eliminate over 53 positions, and since May over 43 employees have been on furlough.
• Drastically reduced operating budgets across every team, postponing previously-planned department initiatives and working to create new ways of doing business in the current climate.
For those individuals in which their full allotment of tickets cannot be realized due to the limited seating capacity, fans will have an opportunity to provide critical support for over 700 student-athletes by opting to transfer their remaining balance into a tax-deductible gift. Cardinal Athletic Fund Priority Points will be doubled for these gifts. Information on donations to the Cardinal Athletic Fund is available at this link.