In a letter sent to football season ticket holders Friday afternoon, Nebraska Athletic Director Bill Moos wrote that NU was projecting a revenue shortfall anywhere from $40 to $100 million as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In an attempt to help mitigate some of those projected losses, the Husker athletic department has created the “Day by Day” campaign.
Typically, season ticket holders are faced with a no-refund policy, but for the 2020 season, Nebraska is waiving that policy. Should the Huskers limit the capacity inside Memorial Stadium, fans will have the option to take a full refund on their tickets while stay maintaining the ability to renew in 2021.
Two other options are on the table, though.
One, season ticket holders can donate their 2020 payment to the “Day by Day” campaign. Doing so would earn fans up to 100 priority points for purchasing tickets to future bowl games or road games from Nebraska’s predetermined allotment.
Fans can also convert their 2020 payment into a credit for the 2021 season. This comes with an incentive of up to 30 priority points.
“Regardless of the decision you make for 2020, you will have the opportunity to renew for the 2021 season and your status as a ticket holder will not be impacted,” Moos wrote.
A decision on stadium capacity will come “no less than two weeks prior to the first home game.” Nebraska opens its season on the road against Rutgers on Sept. 5 before returning home for the opener at Memorial Stadium on Sept. 12 against Illinois.
“Nebraska Athletics is working closely with campus leadership, and local government and health officials to determine the recommended Memorial Stadium capacity based on health and safety guidelines,” Moos wrote in the letter. “Capacity recommendations will be provided to Athletics later this month and reviewed throughout the season. Physical distancing to achieve recommended capacity in the seating areas may require a reduction in season ticket quantities to accommodate as many accounts as possible.”
Around the Big Ten and the country, schools have started announcing decisions regarding attendance limits for the 2020 season.
Rutgers will abide by the executive order in place by the New Jersey governor limiting outdoor gatherings to no more than 500 people. Both Penn State and Maryland will not allow fans in the stands. A letter sent to Penn State season ticket holders, though, told fans electing to go the refund route would not be guaranteed the same seat locations in 2021, much to the dismay of the public. Nebraska made no such decision.
Iowa recently announced fans would not exceed 15,000 and would be required to wear face coverings at events inside Kinnick Stadium. The Huskers are scheduled to play there on Sept. 26.
Ohio State—whom Nebraska plays in Columbus on Oct. 10—had previously announced its intention to limit fan attendance to 20% and ban tailgating, but an executive order from the Ohio Department of Health that went into effect on Aug. 1, should it remain in place once the season begins, would prohibit spectators at Buckeye games. The order runs until the ODH revises or retracts it, or until Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s state of emergency ends.
Specifically in Lincoln, cases are trending in the right direction.
“I think we’re very fortunate in this regard that we are a low-populated state, that we are a really clean community, the number of positive results from testing is not astronomical, and for those reasons and others, I’m confident that we’re going to be able to have nice crowds in Memorial Stadium,” Moos said Wednesday night on Sports Nightly.