University of Alabama Athletic Director, Greg Byrne, published an open letter to the supporters of Alabama athletics this morning, concerning tickets and potential attendance at football games this fall.

Byrne opened up the meat of his letter by admitting he is still unsure of what the 2020-21 football season will look like. He followed by highlighting the measures the athletic department has taken to mitigate the inevitable financial losses the department will face this academic year.

  • Each department has seen a decrease in operating budgets.
  • The department has put a freeze on vacant non-coaching positions.
  •  Facility operating and energy savings.

Byrne stressed the importance of donor contributions, season ticket purchases and TIDE PRIDE memberships to the overall operations of the athletic budget.

"Under normal operations, a large percentage of our annual budget comes directly from ticket sales and TIDE PRIDE memberships," said Byrne.

Byrne admitted, that should there be limited seating in Byrant-Denny Stadium this year that would drastically alter the athletic programs's budget.

"In the event we have to adopt a modified seating model at Bryant-Denny Stadium, this number will be impacted significantly. While we don't yet know the effects on individual ticket holders, we do know that we will need your continued and generous support," Byrne said.

Byrne wrote that the various ticket offices involved with Alabama tickets will work with ticket holders to provide options to continue supporting the core mission. Those options appear to be the be donating to TIDE PRIDE contributions and ticket purchases as potentially deductible gifts to the Crimson Tide Foundation. The affected ticket holders will also have the option for a complete or partial refund of TIDE PRIDE contributions and ticket purchases.

Alabama's athletic department earned $36.1 million in ticket sales and an additional $30 million  in contributions tied to season tickets in 2019. The loss of roughly $66 million from the 2020 budget would be enormous, in particularly with Byrne's Crimson Standard project.

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