UConn men’s and women’s basketball games in Gampel Pavilion will be “initially” closed to the public this upcoming season following a decision from state health officials, the school announced on Monday.
“I would like to thank the Department of Public Health and the Department of Economic and Community Development for their guidance and expertise throughout this process,” director of athletics David Benedict said in a release. ”I know some of our fans will be disappointed but their health and safety, along with the health and safety of our student-athletes, staff and university community, is our top priority.”
This decision is subject to “adjustment” should COVID-19 numbers begin to change in-season, according to the release.
The news was originally reported by Hartford Courant’s Alexa Philippou on Monday afternoon.
Up to four tickets per college athlete and coach will be allowed for members of the home and away teams, per the Courant.
The school had submitted a pair of proposals that would’ve allowed between about 2,000 to 2,500 fans at Gampel games to the Department of Economic Community Development on Oct. 16, according to the Courant. However, COVID-19 numbers are on the rise in most states in the country at this point — including Connecticut.
Family members of people in the program will be held to social distancing, mask wearing and state travel advisory guidelines, according to the team release.
Season ticket holders were notified of the change Monday but Benedict sent out another email Tuesday with further details.
The school is asking season ticket holders to donate “at least 50%” of their typical donation to men’s basketball or $100 for women’s basketball-only donators. This will fulfill the “forever seat” donation requirement, according to Benedict, and help the athletic department cover COVID-related costs.
UConn emailed season ticket holders again Thursday morning with the options for season ticket holders.
In order to retain season tickets fans have three options:
- Philanthropic gift — giving 100% of both the ticket cost and seat donation as a gift to the program
- Philanthropic gift and apply to 2021-22 season — convert 50% or 100% of 2020-21 seat donation, or $100 for those who have women’s basketball seats only, to a gift. Then use the balance of the 2020-21 seats toward the 2021-22 season.
- Philanthropic gift and refund — convert 50% or 100% seat donation, or $100 for those who have women’s basketball seats only, to a gift. Then take the balance of the 2020-21 seats as a refund.
If fans would like to forfeit their season ticket renewal rights they have two options:
- Apply all to 2020-21 season — use the entire balance of the 2020-21 toward the 2021-22 season ticket price.
- Full refund — receive a full refund of the 2020-21 season ticket price, including the tickets and seat donation.
Fans are also likely to be barred from UConn games at Mohegan Sun Arena as well, but that may change as well, according to the Courant.
Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont announced Monday that the state would be moving back to “Phase 2.1.” The new phase includes a statewide dining curfew and a reduction in indoor capacities at events and restaurants.