Rob Mullens is hopeful Autzen Stadium will be full of Duck fans in 2021

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It was difficult to watch the Oregon Ducks play in an empty Autzen Stadium in 2020 for everyone involved. It stunk for the players, coaches, fans, and even opponents.

But according to Athletic Director Rob Mullens, the Ducks’ pocketbook took a worse hit than another Pac-12 quarterback in the sights of Noah Sewell.

“I have been riding on the hope wave for quite a while, and I’m still on the hope wave,” Mullens told Ryan Thorburn of The Register-Guard. “I am hopeful that vaccination is in fact the path to a full Autzen.”

Oregon lost a total of about $60 million of revenue mostly by having no fans inside Autzen or Matthew Knight Arena for the 2020-21 sports calendar season. A lot of big games were scheduled for last fall, including Big Ten powerhouse Ohio State visiting Autzen for the very first time. Ohio State has said they’ll pay Oregon $3.5 million to help make up for the Buckeyes not being able to make the trip to Eugene last year.

The Ducks also missed out on having rival Washington come to Eugene, a game that could have meant the Pac-12 North title.

Mullens is hoping the department can quickly make up the lost revenue in the next couple of seasons. Having highly successful programs in the big sports such as football and both basketball teams will ease the burden for sure.

Also, the eagerness of fans just being able to watch their favorite teams in person is going to go a long way. Mullens is grateful for the unwavering support the Duck fans have shown in this unusually difficult time.

I really appreciate how our fan base stepped up. I think that we are off to a great start and I think our season-ticket renewal will be something that is very high. People are excited to get back into Autzen Stadium, wanting to support the Ducks and to see the new video board and so much more. I’m confident, and really pleased at the support that we’ve received from our season ticket base.

Fans will a lot to cheer for in the 2021-22 season and let’s all hope venues such as Autzen, Matthew Knight Arena, PK Park, Jane Sanders Stadium and Hayward Field are never, ever empty on gameday again.

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