MISSOULA and BOZEMAN -- It looks like college football game day will be returning to normal in Montana this fall.
Both the Montana and Montana State departments of athletics announced intentions to return to full-capacity attendance for the 2021 fall football season.
The decision falls in line with the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education's decision to operate campuses in Montana as normal this fall, which will still be contingent on all city, county, state and federal community health guidelines.
“We’re working hard to prepare for a home football season that begins with a sold out Bobcat Stadium for Gold Rush on Sept. 11,” Montana State director of athletics Leon Costello said in a release. “While planning for all possibilities, we anticipate Bobcat Athletics and the campus community opening up this fall. Like everyone else, we missed playing football in 2020 and missed our fans and the environment they create.”
"We know that nothing is guaranteed and obviously much can change between now and the fall, but we are excited to welcome 26,000 back to Washington-Grizzly Stadium, and we hope our fans are just as excited to join us and cheer on the Griz," said Montana director of athletics Kent Haslam in a media release.
Griz fans interested in becoming a new season ticket holder can place deposits on packages now. Invoices for season ticket renewals are scheduled to be sent out in mid-May, with a mid-June deadline to renew.
Montana season ticket holders who advanced their 2020 purchase to 2021 will automatically be renewed. Single-game tickets for the 2021 fall season are slated to go on sale in mid-July. UM students will claim their tickets the week of the game, just as they have in the past.
New this year, all UM football tickets for the 2021 season and beyond will be fully digital, with the ability to be printed at home or delivered straight to your mobile device to increase speed and convenience at the gate.
As of now, Montana will be allowing just 5,000 fans to the spring games against Central Washington on April 10 and Portland State on April 17.
Both season ticket renewals and new tickets for Montana State fans are on sale beginning April 15, with the renewal deadline June 1. The 2021 season marks the first since Bobcat Athletics transitioned to exclusive mobile ticketing, with a print-at-home ticket option. Costello indicated that 2021 season ticket prices remain the same, with a marginal increase in the required Bobcat Club contribution for some areas of Bobcat Stadium. Those contributions apply directly to student-athlete scholarships at Montana State.
As in the past, an invoice containing Bobcat Club contribution requirements and any applicable credits from 2020 will be distributed to season ticket holders. Costello said everyone associated with Bobcat Athletics anticipates the arrival of the 2021 football season.
“The past year has been unusual and difficult for everyone,” Costello said, “and we all look forward to the return of Bobcat football.”
Costello also indicated that MSU officials are in the process of having plans reviewed by local health officials to welcome a limited number of masked and socially-distanced fans into Bobcat Stadium for the April 24 Sonny Holland Classic spring scrimmage.