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UCF AD Terry Mohajir ‘Optimistic’ About Football, Tailgating Returning to ‘Normal’ for Opener

UCF is scheduled to host Boise State the weekend of Sept. 2, 2021.

Spectrum Stadium
Spectrum Stadium. Photo: Derek Warden
Photo: Derek Warden

Will the Bounce House be rockin’ with its usual 45,000-plus fans this fall? New UCF Knights Athletic Director Terry Mohajir says he believes it’s achievable.

Following a season of 25% capacity and a year of following COVID-19 protocol, Mohajir said he is “really optimistic” about the possibility of returning to “normal” this fall, he told “Open Mike” host Mike Bianchi on 96.9 The Game on Wednesday.

“I feel really optimistic that it’s gonna be back to normal,” Mohajir told Bianchi. “I’m generally a very optimistic person. I’m a realist, though, too.”

Mohajir referenced the country and county’s changing COVID-19 cases, saying that the numbers are going down “from his understanding.”

He’s not wrong.

There has been a 37% decrease in COVID-19 cases in the U.S. in the past 14 days, according to data from the New York Times. In the state of Florida alone, cases have decreased by 22%.

Data from the New York Times shows COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and Florida on the decline.
Screenshot from New York Times COVID-19 dashboard on Feb. 24, 2021.

“People are starting to get their vaccines,” Mohajir said. “I think by the end of this spring a lot more people will have the opportunities to get [the vaccine] if they choose to do so.

“So I feel really good that we’re gonna be back to normal, back to tailgating,” Mohajir added. “We open up with Boise State — home opener.”

Gus Malzahn Terry Mohajir Marc Daniels UCF Press Conference Image Courtesy: UCF Athletics

UCF is scheduled to host Boise State for the first time the weekend of Sept. 2, as part of a two-game, home-and-home series between the two in 2021 and 2023. As long as COVID-19 cases and vaccines continue to trend in these favorable directions, Mohajir said he thinks a Bounce House at-capacity is achievable.

“I really believe that we’re gonna have to look at the capacity of just the stadium, look at expansion,” Mohajir said. “We’re about 19,000 season tickets, I think 26,000 is our capacity and I really believe that we can achieve that as long as things are trending in the way that I am hearing is trending from the medical professionals.”

As of Feb. 19, UCF is reporting just over 20,000 season tickets sold for the 2021 football season.

In addition to season ticket holders, Mohajir told Bianchi he would do what’s necessary to get students into the game — and find a solution for those who can’t.

“I know we’re gonna have a bunch of students that wanna come to the game and they’re the lifeblood of our athletic department and our campus and we’re gonna have to figure out a way to entertain a bunch of students that might not be able to get in,” Mohajir said.

All in all, Mohaijr said the key to the possibility of returning to the Bounce House this fall is to be prepared and plan for UCF’s expectations.

“So that’s what we’re gonna do,” he said.

Daniella Medina is a contributing writer for Black & Gold Banneret. Follow her on Twitter @danimedinanews.