UTPB football postpones season opener, moves spring home games to Midland

Published: Feb. 17, 2021 at 6:04 PM CST
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - UTPB football’s season opener on Saturday has been postponed, the athletic department announced Wednesday. The Falcons will also play their home games this spring in Midland, as their usual homefield, Ratliff Stadium in Odessa, is used as a COVID-19 vaccination site.

UTPB’s season opener will now be played at 1 p.m. on Saturday February 27 at Grande Communications Stadium.

The Falcons haven’t been able to practice this week due to freezing temperatures, and travel conditions remain hazardous for visiting Southern Nazarene.

“Neither team was able to get in a full week of practice due to the weather here and in Oklahoma,” UTPB Athletic Director Todd Dooley said. “By putting them out there without the proper practice time and conditioning, it becomes dangerous for the health and safety of the student-athletes on the field and felt moving the game back a week allowed enough time for both teams to be ready.”

The decision to move UTPB’s three home games this spring to Midland comes from a desire not to interfere with the COVID-19 vaccination site set up at Ratliff Stadium.

“Our presence at Ratliff takes up meaningful space and resources used to save lives,” Dooley said. “We will not impede anyone from receiving a vaccination. We certainly appreciate our relationship with ECISD and we look forward to returning to Ratliff Stadium this fall. UTPB is grateful to the City of Midland for graciously accepting our request to move the games to Grande Stadium on short notice.”

The Falcons have played one home game at Grande each season in program history. UTPB defeated Northern Michigan 40-24 in Midland last season.

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