How NFL Teams Are Approaching Stadium Attendance During The Pandemic

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As MLB and the NBA return with games in empty venues, the NFL is holding out hope for the possibility of playing in front of fans. The league is making preparations to sell tickets during its upcoming season.

With the regular season scheduled to start on Sept. 10, teams across the league have taken different approaches. There is no dispute, however, regarding masks for teams that do plan to welcome paying customers into the stadium.

“For those wondering, yes, it is league-wide: fans at NFL games this season will be required to wear face coverings,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy tweeted Wednesday.

For those wondering, yes, it is league-wide: fans at NFL games this season will be required to wear face coverings pic.twitter.com/D139KGKQ4r

— Brian McCarthy (@NFLprguy) July 22, 2020

The Atlanta Falcons told season-ticket holders Wednesday that it plans to have limited capacity seating for home games in 2020. The announcement said up to 10,000 to 20,000 fans would be allowed to attend games at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The stadium has a capacity to hold 71,000 fans. 

The Baltimore Ravens have said that, if fans are allowed, M&T Bank Stadium will have limited capacity seating, hosting fewer than 14,000 fans per game.

“To offer a proper level of safety for fans who want to attend games, a reduction in capacity is necessary,” stated Ravens president Dick Cass. “We are disappointed that this will be a disruption for many ticket buyers, but we have an obligation to our fans and our community to keep M&T Bank Stadium as safe as possible.”

Green Bay Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy told reporters Tuesday the organization estimates a capacity of 10,000 to 12,000 fans.

The New York Giants and New York Jets don’t appear to expect to have fans at home games. Fans won’t be allowed at New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium, where both teams play, until further notice, according to an executive order from Governor Phil Murphy.

The Las Vegas Raiders are more likely than not to play in an empty stadium in their first season in a new city. Owner Mark Davis told ESPN he’s leaning toward keeping fans out of the venue.

The NFL has canceled the entire preseason. 

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