Walking on campus early this morning, I detected a slight decrease in temperature and humidity. Summer in Auburn is still alive and well, but for just a few sweet minutes, the smell of football was in the air.
This week’s SEC schedule release further intensified our anticipation of hearing Andy Burcham yelling, “Touchdown Auburn!” Sept. 26 will be here soon. Spirit and Aurea will fly, and the orange and blue will fight on.
Earlier today, we announced our ticket plan for the home opener vs. Kentucky on Sept. 26.
While we wish we could pack 87,451 fans into Jordan-Hare Stadium for all five home games this season, the coronavirus pandemic has necessitated a temporary reduction in capacity. With so many passionate Auburn supporters eager to attend, the decision to select who receives access to tickets is extraordinarily difficult.
I’ve heard from many of you who treasure the memories you made by attending Auburn football games when you were students. We plan to provide that same opportunity for our current students, so they’ll be able to forever look back fondly on their fall Saturdays on the Plains.
Students, we’re counting on you to amplify your voices – while practicing physical distancing and wearing face coverings – so that Auburn will maintain what Coach Malzahn calls “the best home-field advantage in college football.”
We appreciate everyone’s flexibility and understanding as we follow local and state guidelines to manage fan health and safety.
As the season progresses, tickets for non-students may become available, potentially allowing our Tigers Unlimited season ticket holders to attend. We will continue to adapt to the conditions we encounter.
With stadium capacity reduced by 80 percent and five home games instead of seven, our Athletics budget will experience a shortfall of tens of millions of dollars this year. As you may know, revenue from football finances all 21 Auburn teams.
To make up a portion of this deficit, we’re asking our donors and season ticket holders who opt out of attending to please consider donating their season ticket purchases as part of our “Believe in Auburn” campaign.
The pandemic has disrupted everyone’s routine, negatively impacting the health of many. Others have suffered financial loss.
It’s a tough time to be asking for donations. However, one thing I’ve learned about Auburn people is that their love for our university and its athletic programs is often exceeded only by their generosity.
So, I come to you today humbly asking you to consider investing in Auburn by converting your season ticket purchase into a philanthropic gift. Strength in numbers is the ultimate checkmate, giving us a distinct advantage.
Every day, I see the return on your investment. I see it in the 550 student-athletes we serve. I see it when they compete for championships. I see it when they serve our community. I see it when they earn their degrees. I see it when they go on to enjoy success in careers as educators, attorneys, accountants, nurses, doctors, pharmacists, engineers and too many professions to enumerate.
Our student-athletes, coaches and sports medicine team, under the direction of Dr. Michael Goodlett, have worked tirelessly to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
In a few short weeks, we will see the result of their discipline, dedication and sacrifice.
On that day, I know you’ll stand with me and once more exclaim, “It’s great to be an Auburn Tiger!”
Thank you for believing in Auburn and loving it!