SEC-only football schedule eliminates LSU-Texas rematch; other changes for Tigers
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The SEC has revealed how the fall football season for the reigning national champion LSU Tigers will shape up, after months of speculation and questions.
The SEC has officially announced its teams will play a 10-game, conference-only schedule. The league also declared games won’t kick off until September 26 and the SEC Championship has been pushed back to December 19.
LSU athletic director Scott Woodward sent the following letter to ticket holders about their options:
Today, the SEC announced the toughest conference in college football is going to battle it out in historic fashion. Tiger Stadium and our National Championship Football team will play host to five SEC opponents in a 10-game, all-SEC regular-season schedule. This has never happened before and we want to make sure you, our loyal ticketholders, are given timely information regarding your season tickets.
Because of important public-health guidelines, we are anticipating reduced capacity at Tiger Stadium. Season ticket holders and student tickets will be prioritized. As I know some of our ticket holders may not be able to attend games this year, I want you to know you have options to retain your seats if you choose to opt out of the 2020 season for any reason.
• If you choose to opt out of the 2020 season, we are offering several options for you to review below. We are not asking for your decision today. You will be able to submit your choice to the ticket office via a form we will send to you next week.
• If you choose to retain your seats for the 2020 season, there is nothing you need to do at this time. Once a final capacity and schedule is determined, the ticket office will be in contact with you on next steps regarding any changes to ticket price and seat allotments.
Three options will be available for ticketholders who choose to opt out of the 2020 season.
1. Make a Tax-Deductible Donation Season ticketholders can choose to opt out of the 2020 season by donating their ticket costs and seat contributions to the Victory Fund at the Tiger Athletic Foundation. The Victory Fund has been set up to help support LSU Athletics during the financial challenges resulting from the spread of COVID-19. Choosing this tax-deductible option would also secure the opportunity to retain your seats for 2021. We will provide full details on this offer to you next week.
2. Rollover to 2021 As renewals for 2021 are scheduled to begin in November, if you want to opt-out of your 2020 seats you can simply apply your seat contribution and ticket costs to 2021 in order to retain your season-tickets for next season without having to process a new payment.
3. Request a Full Refund Full refunds for ticket price and seat contributions can be requested from the ticket office via the form that will be sent next week. LSU ticketholders who request a full refund will be given the option to retain their seats for 2021 through a non-refundable deposit.
We’re excited to welcome everyone back to Tiger Stadium in September and we will be in touch with you soon with more details on this plan. I want to also stress safety for all of us. If you have a preexisting condition, feel sick, or have other safety concerns for you or your family, we want you to stay home and watch the games on television. Your support is important, however your safety and the wellbeing of your family is more important. We will continue to be in touch as our plans for fall sports unfold.
An LSU official said the capacity of Tiger Stadium hasn’t been decided yet and will be dictated by the state, not the SEC or LSU. The university also doesn’t have the specific schedule or dates of the football season yet.
However, in terms of excitement for the season, it could be addition by subtraction. While LSU won’t play its big non-conference game in Tiger Stadium against the University of Texas, fans will probably rather watch their Tigers play two more SEC opponents, as opposed to seeing LSU take on UTSA, Nicholls State, and Rice.
LSU was originally scheduled to host Ole Miss on Sept. 26. The Tigers were scheduled to then travel Florida and Arkansas. They were then supposed to then host Mississippi State, Alabama, and South Carolina. The last two games of the regular season were supposed to be on the road against Auburn and Texas A&M.
- OFFICIAL: SEC presidents adopt plan to play conference-only, 10-game football schedule
- AP: SEC goes to conference-only schedule, starting Sept. 26
Commissioner Greg Sankey said the schedule will include one mid-season open date for each school and an open date on December 12 for all schools. An official revised schedule for the 2020 SEC football season will be announced at a later date following approval by SEC athletic directors.
Woodward also sent a letter about the announcement from the SEC:
“Today is an exciting day for all of us who love college football in the SEC. The toughest conference in college football is going to battle it out in historic fashion. Tiger Stadium and our National Championship Football team will play host to five SEC opponents in a 10-game, all-SEC regular-season schedule. As a conference, we have been aligned in this process from the beginning and I want to thank Commissioner (Greg) Sankey for his leadership during this unprecedented time. There is still a great deal of work to be done and many important decisions to be made, but this is a big step in the right direction for our conference, our school, and our student-athletes. Our top priority remains the safety and well-being of our student-athletes. We, as SEC member institutions, are continuing to engage in deliberate and informed discussions on planning for the safety of student-athletes, coaches, and staff. We will continue to follow the guidance of medical professionals in our decision making, including the SEC’s Return to Activity and Medical Guidance Task Force. Together, and with the direction of state public health officials, we are focused on a safe return to competition.”
Things such as tailgating and other game-day activities, including social distancing, face-covering, and other health measures consistent with guidelines will be decided upon and announced at a later date.
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