SDSU Athletics introduces season ticket refund policy in light of pandemic


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SDSU Athletics announced a refund policy for season ticket holders and Aztec Club members on June 18.

by Breven Honda, Senior Staff Writer

San Diego State Athletics unveiled a proposal for season ticket holders and Aztec Club members in case any sport gets canceled due to COVID-19 on June 18.

Season ticket holders and Aztec Club members of the five SDSU sports (men’s and women’s basketball, football, baseball and softball) can choose between three options if a season ends abruptly or never starts.

For season ticket holders, the first option is they can donate a portion to support SDSU Athletics. The second is to roll over their 2020 payment for the 2021-2022 season and the third is to request a full or partial refund.

Aztec Club members have three similar options. First, they can turn their seat into a donation for the 2020-2021 general fund drive. The second is to roll over their seat price for the 2021-2022 season and the third is to request a full or partial refund.

The full or partial refund depends on the number of games played in that particular sport.

Steve Schnall, the Executive Associate Athletics Director of External Relations for SDSU, said it was valuable for season ticket holders and Aztec Club members to know what the choices are in the event a season does get cancelled.

“It was important to us to make available to our season ticket holders what their options are moving forward,” Schnall told The Daily Aztec. “We’re working as if all systems go, but if that’s not the case, we knew we needed to be nimble and discuss what the options could be.”

Despite having a small understanding of a refund policy for a potential situation like this, Schnall said his team looked at schools both in and out of the Mountain West Conference as well as some professional teams, but ultimately focused on what the SDSU faithful wanted.

“We had a little knowledge on what we needed to have as far as a bigger policy for this academic year,” Schnall said. “We were looking not only at what our policy was, but what others had as a refund policy and making sure what was right for our fan base.”

Schnall said his team has been discussing the topic and it was first brought up when the 2020 baseball and softball seasons were scrapped.

“We’ve been talking about it for a few months,” Schnall said. “Once we realized we cancelled the balance of the spring schedule, a lot of the policies were enacted for last baseball and softball season because it ended conference play for those sports.”

During the discussions, Schnall said he wanted season ticket holders and Aztec Club members to think reasonably if this situation were to occur.

“We tried to be as logical as possible,” Schnall said. “We thought about the possibilities our season ticket holders and fans might want to look at, and we feel like we’ve addressed those in the policy. I think we covered all our bases with those three options.”

For season ticket holders and Aztec Club members, they have a decision to make if COVID-19 does cancel a season.

Karen Okuhara and her husband, Roy, have been season ticket holders for football and men’s basketball for almost 40 years as well as women’s basketball for eight.

She said she was not shocked by the news because season ticket refunds are now offered amongst numerous college and professional teams.

“They are doing what everyone is doing where they have season ticket holders,” Okuhara told The Daily Aztec. “They need to do something to stay afloat and survive, so I wasn’t surprised.”

If the decision were to come, Okuhara said she and her husband would choose the first option to support the program.

“These organizations need to sustain themselves and keep operating,” Okuhara said. “A lot of that is based on the sale of tickets. It is one of those unusual things right now. Even though it has not happened yet, we have been donating.”

Schnall said if an Aztec season ticket holder or Club member, like the Okuharas, chooses option one and donates the price of their seats, they would have the same seat and pay the same rate if and when the time comes.

Although the Okuharas have made the decision to donate the price of their seats, Karen Okuhara said choosing between donating or rolling over for the following season will come.

“That’s a question a lot of people are looking at,” she said. “But this is where and how we show our support, even if they are not playing.”