Nebraska President Thinks College Football Will ‘Find A Way’ To Have Fans In The Stands This Fall
Nebraska football will play its season as close to “normal” as possible if the school’s president, Ted Carter, has anything to say about it. Carter talked to the Omaha World-Herald earlier this week to discuss this fall’s football season. He talked about the possibility of there not being a season, or — if there is — that it will be different. He admitted a “lot needs to happen” in order for Nebraska to be able to play in front of fans this fall.
Carter was responding to comments the country’s top expert on the coronavirus outbreak, Dr. Anthony Fauci, made about how sports could return in 2020. Fauci isn’t optimistic college sports will be able to return this fall. He also thinks if they do come back, it will have to be without fans in the stands. That would be a significant hit to the University of Nebraska’s bottom line. The Huskers have sold out every game in their 85,000-seat stadium for decades. With tickets costing around $60 apiece and Nebraska slated for seven home games, an entirely empty stadium would mean a loss of roughly $35 million in revenue, a number that doesn’t include concessions.
Fauci said he believes professional sports might be able to carry out their season without fans in the stands, but he said college athletics would be hard-pressed to do the same if campuses remain closed.
Carter said he is the last person to contradict Dr. Fauci, but he also considers himself an optimist. He added the people he has talked to during the coronavirus outbreak don’t want to have a season without fans. He said both he and those he spoke with think fans are an integral part of the college sports season.
He also mentioned his belief that the people in Nebraska have shown a willingness to abide by social distancing guidelines. He said that adherence will help make a push for having some kind of season for the Huskers possible. He did add it was still likely that — if a season did happen — it wouldn’t be what fans are used to. He said it might have to start later in the year or there might need to be provisions made to make sure Memorial Stadium isn’t full on Saturdays.
The University of Nebraska president does believe the Cornhuskers will find a way, though there is a big caveat. Even if they have a plan to play this season, the rest of college football would have to agree. Analysts from around the country have differing views on whether or not a season will kick off this year and what it will look like. One prominent analyst, Kirk Herbstreit, has been a vocal opponent of NCAA football playing games until a vaccine is readily available.