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UW football season ticket holders face tough decision

(NBC15)
Published: May. 10, 2020 at 10:57 PM CDT
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With Monday, May 11 being the deadline to renew season tickets for the 2020 Wisconsin football season, many fans face the tough decision of whether to renew them or not, with no guarantee of a season in the fall.

"They extended it a month, which we appreciated. But it would have been nice just to have on more month." Said Jay Marcell who has held season tickets for 14 years.

"We know we're kind of throwing money in a well and wishing."

Marcell renewed his tickets just two days before the May 11 deadline.

The "well" he speaks of is the University of Wisconsin Athletics Department which could throw the money back to its fans if there is no season.

University of Wisconsin's Director of Brand Communications, Brian Lucas told NBC15 in an email, "If there is no season, fans that have renewed tickets would be refunded for seating-related costs. That includes the price of tickets, parking, chair-backs (if purchased) and donations tied to the ticket purchase."

Al Schumacher who is a UW-Madison graduate and has had season tickets for over 20 years renewed his seats back in April, having faith that Wisconsin Athletics would refund fans that bought their 2020 tickets if the season was to be canceled.

"I knew the big ten, the NCAA and the state of Wisconsin is not going to allow people in the stands unless its going to be safe. And I'm fortunate enough to have the discretionary cash flow that I could fork over the money right away without a worry that I wouldn't get it back." Schumacher told us over Zoom.

As for Eric Ensminger who has bought season tickets for Wisconsin football, basketball and men's hockey in the past, he decided to not renew for all three sports. "With the uncertainty of what's going on right now and what's going on with my job, I'm being extremely fiscally conservative throughout this year. That's one of the things that I look at as a luxury item."

Ensminger has thankfully not lost his job amidst the economic decline during the COVID-19 pandemic, but still decided to take precautionary steps to save money. He said the soonest he would renew any tickets would be for the 2022 season.

"The one that actually hurts the most for me was actually the basketball tickets."

Ensminger brought up his optimism with Wisconsin men's basketball returning all but Brevin Pritzl from their Big Ten Championship team for why he looks forward to the possibility of basketball in the fall, but sadness that he will not have season tickets like in year's past.

Now if games do happen and fans can attend, it is likely stadiums and arenas will limit how many are let in and if they are, likely with social distancing guidelines in place.

If that is the case for games at Camp Randall Stadium, both Jay and Al are open to continuing their tradition with a few new rules.

"I'm willing to move my seat from my normal spot to be you now, 10, 15, 20 feet away from people. I'm willing to wear a mask if I have to." said Schumacher.

Marcell repeated the same, with his ultimate desire to just return to any piece of normalcy, "I would gladly do that (social distance). I'd wear a mask."

"At this point I think many people are like me where, just get me in the stadium. Just let me hear the crowd. Just let me watch my team."