The University of Michigan athletic department announced Wednesday season tickets won't be honored if the 2020 college football season is held with fans in attendance amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"We have been working closely with a wide variety of leaders to ensure a safe and healthy environment for our student-athletes, coaches, fans and support staff associated with a game at Michigan Stadium," athletic director Warde Manuel said. "We will follow the direction that all of these agencies and experts continue to provide during this challenging time."
If the Wolverines are cleared to have spectators in the stands, season-ticket holders and students will be the only people eligible to purchase tickets, which will be available on a single-game basis.
Fans who've already purchased season tickets will retain their seats for the 2021 season. They can use the money paid toward the 2020 campaign as a gift to the UM athletic department, a prepayment for next year or they can request a refund.
Further details about tickets for the upcoming season will be made available after a final decision is made about the season and, if games are going to happen, the capacity The Big House is cleared to hold under the COVID-19 guidelines at the time.
Michigan was scheduled to open the season Sept. 5, but the Big Ten announced last week it would utilize a conference-only schedule if fall sports are given the green light.
The Wolverines' first Big Ten game is slated for Sept. 26 against Wisconsin.
Although the Pac-12 has joined the Big Ten in shifting focus to a conference-only schedule, the other Power Final conferences haven't made a decision. Another option is moving football to the spring, though that could have different logistical issues since the NFL draft is set to begin April 29.
Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh said he's hopeful the season can be held.
"COVID is part of our society," he told reporters last week. "Wasn't caused by football or caused by sports. And there's no expert view right now that I'm aware of that sports is going to make that worse. It's part of our society; we're going to have to deal with it."
That said, the NBA, NHL and MLB have continued to move forward with their restart plans.
Bleacher Report's David Gardner interviews athletes and other sports figures for the podcast How to Survive Without Sports.