This story has been updated.
The University of Texas Longhorns will start its fall 2020 football season with a match up against Texas Tech on Sept. 26, according to the new fall football schedule announced Wednesday by the Big 12 conference.
The announcement puts to rest, for now, speculation that the conference would be postponing its season until at least January, as Big 10 and Pac-12 did earlier this week. The Longhorns will play a nonconference game against UT-El Paso on Sept. 12 at the Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.
Let's do this 🤘 #HookEm | #MyTexas https://t.co/Hv4W5twTif— Texas Longhorns (@Texas Longhorns) 1597246371.0
Changing pandemic conditions could cause a reassessment later, the Big 12 board chairman said.
"The Board continues to believe that the health and well-being of our student-athletes must guide all decisions" commented Board of Directors Chairman and TCU Chancellor Victor Boschini said in a statement Wednesday. "To that end the Board has consistently relied on the advice and counsel of top medical experts to determine the viability of available options. Our student-athletes want to compete, and it is the Board's collective opinion that sports can be conducted safely and in concert with the best interests of their well-being. We remain vigilant in monitoring the trends and effects of COVID 19 as we learn more about the virus. If at any point our scientists and doctors conclude that our institutions cannot provide a safe and appropriate environment for our participants, we will change course."
A 𝘀𝗽𝗲𝗰𝗶𝗮𝗹 delivery for #Big12FB fans‼️ Your first look at the 2⃣0⃣2⃣0⃣ Conference schedule ⤵️ https://t.co/1W00A3EYuM— Big 12 Conference (@Big 12 Conference) 1597246320.0
Commissioner Bob Bowlsby acknowledged the debate and concern over the discussion in the weeks leading up to the decision but said he believes the season can move forward safely.
"The virus continues to evolve and medical professionals are learning more with each passing week," said Commissioner Bob Bowlsby. "Opinions vary regarding the best path forward, as we've seen throughout higher education and our society overall, but we are comfortable in our institutions' ability to provide a structured training environment, rigorous testing and surveillance, hospital quality sanitation and mitigation practices that optimize the health and safety of our student-athletes. We believe all of this combines to create an ideal learning and training situation during this time of COVID-19. Ultimately, our student-athletes have indicated their desire to compete in the sports they love this season and it is up to all of us to deliver a safe, medically sound, and structured academic and athletic environment for accomplishing that outcome."
According to a report by Sports Illustrated, "the decision among the Big 12 leaders came down to ramifications of not playing a season such as player mental health, structure, etc. versus the uncertain risk of playing a season."
"The Big 12's decision Tuesday night to trudge onward with a 2020 fall football season has kept alive the hope, maybe faint, that there will be college pigskin action in autumn. Hours after the Big Ten and Pac-12 called it quits, the Big 12, with a chance to shut down and bring maybe all of college football with it, stood firm. The league's top decision-makers were determined to continue marching toward a September kickoff. A group split and on the fence entering the day, Big 12 leaders settled on the side of their neighbors to the east and southeast, ACC and SEC, instead of the ones to their north and west."
This is soooo sad...like why? I feel like this puts players in an even worse position too. Like “show your loyalty… https://t.co/1keNNgpoSO— Lydia (@Lydia) 1597247117.0
PTL I have a job (maybe). Mask up, wash your hands, and keep a social distance. Don’t eff this up. https://t.co/MRWWK475PZ— angela wang (@angela wang) 1597202540.0
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- San Marcos favorite Industry Burger opens "mid-October" on E. 5th, featuring "low key healthy" Texas fare.
- Still Austin Whiskey Co. introduces "The Artist," its new rye whiskey.
- Domain NORTHSIDE favorites Bakery Lorraine, Grimaldi's Pizzeria, Jeni's Ice Cream and Sprinkles released their fall flavors.
- Cinnaholic at The Arboretum opens Friday, October 14, serving "create your own" cinnamon rolls and other sweet treats.
- San Francisco's Marufuku Ramen opens next Wednesday, October 12, in the Mueller District.
- Carpenter Hotel announces its popup food truck, Lil Carpenter, open Fri-Sun both ACL weekends, serving what you want, early to late, coffee to donuts, to dogs/burgers/fries/beer.
With major entertainment events slated for October, the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is gearing up for a busy month.
Artists and music lovers are set to pack into Zilker Park for The Austin City Limits Music Festival in the coming two weekends. Following that, Formula One will bring racing fans to the Circuit of the Americas.
For those two events, the airport is anticipating high passenger days with 30,000 or more people departing flights.
ABIA recommends arriving at least two and a half hours in advance for domestic flights on those days. For ACL, it's expected on both Sundays of the festival along with the Monday and Tuesday after. The F1-driven high passenger days are expected on Oct. 20-21 and Oct. 23-26.
\u201c#AustinCityLimits visitors, you\u2019re in for a weird and wild ride \ud83e\udd18\u262e\ufe0f \n\nFlying in or out of our airport? We got firm and fun tips for you: https://t.co/RawVRalOXN\u201d— Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) (@Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS)) 1664894083
F1, especially, could draw in loads of travelers as the three-day event saw 400,000 attendees last year. ABIA warns that highways leading to the airport may see even higher traffic than usual around the event and that travelers should plan their route accordingly.
Bailey Grimmett, a spokesperson for ABIA, said travel numbers come in 24 hours in advance. So, it's hard to predict if the airport will see travel volumes at the same levels that have happened around previous F1 races or if it'll top ACL's flight traffic.
Still, she says historical knowledge points to a chance for it.
“We've had that Monday after F1 break the record for single busiest in airport history," Grimmett said. "So context clues I would say yes, but I can't confirm that. But the historical background points to that."
In anticipation of the high volume of flyers, the airport received additional TSA officers for security screening through the end of October. To prepare even further, the Department of Aviation and partners hosted a job showcase and hiring fair to address the continued labor shortage the airport has experienced.
Relief from hectic travel days is on the horizon with November likely to see a slowdown.
"I don't anticipate it will be as busy as October just because we don't have as many events going on," Grimmett said. "Thanksgiving is kind of our primary holiday that we see a lot of passengers coming in and out of the airport."