UH season ticket holders content with flexibility for renewals, concerned about health guidelines
With the calendar approaching August and football season scheduled to kick off games at the end of next month, multiple NCAA conferences, including the American Athletic Conference, continue to hold out on making a decision on football and the other fall sports.
“I don’t know what our ultimate decision is going to be,” AAC commissioner Mike Aresco said Thursday afternoon on SportsTalk 790. “The virus will have a big impact. In the end, what we want to do is make rational decisions.”
The reason for the delay, of course, has to do with the COVID-19 numbers. The United States is averaging over 70,000 new cases per day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In Harris County, there are an estimated 32,661 active cases and 508 deaths as of Saturday afternoon.
Yet, athletic conferences and college football fans alike are holding out hope for some form of competition in the fall.
Houston, like many other colleges in the country, is still uncertain of what will happen in the 2020 season but has begun to reach out to its season ticket holders.
In an email sent out on Thursday, UH provided five options its season ticket holders:
- Option 1- Renew season tickets by Aug. 1 and participate in an online seat selection process from Aug. 10-14.
- Option 2 – Opt-out of the 2020 season and convert all payments, which include season tickets, parking passes and processing fees, to a 100 percent tax-deductible Cougar Pride “unrestricted” donation and earn a bonus of double priority points (two points for every $100) on the entire amount converted.
- Option 3 – Opt-out of 2020 and have all payments rollover to the 2021 season.
- Option 4 – Those that have not made any payments for the 2020 season may opt-out of the 2020 season, but retain their original seat location(s) and renew for the 2021 football season.
- Option 5 – Have all payments made for the 2020 season be fully refunded by notifying the Houston ticket office at least seven days prior to the first game.
“I do like the options that the University is offering,” said Anne Truong, who has been a football season ticket holder since 2016. “In my opinion, I think they are detailed, very flexible and encompass all the scenarios that a season ticket holder might consider.”
The Cougar spoke to multiple season ticket holders, most of whom expressed that they are content with the flexibility the athletics department has provided, but one area that they are concerned about is how the seating at TDECU Stadium will look like if games do happen in the fall.
“It is just really hard for me to commit at this time with all of the uncertainty,” 2008 UH alumnus Johnny Fusilier said. “I go back and forth. I will probably end up getting one ticket. If I feel it is safe to go, I’ll go, and if not, I’ll see it as a way to support the program.”
In the email the University sent out, it informed season ticket holders that the plan “as of now” is to play all home games as planned in the fall. Houston’s first game is scheduled to kick off on Sept. 3 against Rice at TDECU Stadium.
According to a UH athletics spokesperson, Houston is still determining and working through seating capacity options for the 2020 season.
While the season ticket holders have not been told anything specific on what social distancing at a game will look like as of now, a reduction in attendance is basically guaranteed. According to the email, there will likely be no single-game tickets available for the 2020 season.
“If we are in a similar situation for the season as we are today, I would hope people would wear their masks, actually practice social distancing and wash their hands,” Fusilier said.
For more of The Cougar’s coronavirus coverage, click here.