AUSTIN, Texas — Saturdays are not the same on the University of Texas at Austin campus this year. While the UT Longhorns handled the UT-El Paso Miners 59-3 for the season opener, there were far fewer fans to enjoy the experience at Darrell K. Royal Memorial Stadium.
UT prohibited most tailgating experiences, required masks of every fan who entered the stadium and required a negative COVID-19 test from all students who wanted to attend the game, among other changes. With the "new normal," the stadium only would allow for 25% capacity, which meant fewer fans enjoying a college football game day experience.
"We wish he was able to come to college and experience a real college experience, a real college football experience," Cleyrisa Robinson, Bijan Robinson's aunt, said. "We'll take what we can get. Whatever we can do to keep him healthy is OK with us."
Many other fans expressed the same sentiments about the changes made ahead of the season opener.
"We don't know what is happening with this pandemic that's going around," Spencer Roberson, a fan from the Dallas-Fort Worth area, said. "Yes, there's less people. It's going to make a difference, especially for the home team, but in the end as long as they're looking out for our better health, I agree with it."
Fans from across Texas made the trip to Austin for the first college football game of the year at DKR. The COVID-19 regulations would not stop them.
"There's that disappointment because you have to wear a mask. It's constricting; it's not the same," Robin Janecka, who visited from Victoria and has a student at UT, said. "The whole ambiance of the spirit reflects off of everyone who is there."
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