NFL Teams To Host 2020 Games Without Home Crowds
As part of its return-to-play protocols, the NFL gave teams a chance to host their games with a live audience provided that all health and safety standards, particularly the use of face coverings, will be followed. But just this week, several teams announced their plans to begin the season without fans due to the rising cases of COVID-19 in the United States.
The world is still in the midst of battling the COVID-19 pandemic, so participating NFL players and staff, as well as the attending fans in the future, may face the threat of the virus in large gatherings and public games. To prevent any COVID-19-related problems in the future, multiple teams have decided to finally hold their games in empty arenas when the season restarts.
The Los Angeles Chargers and Rams were the first teams to announce their decisions. The two teams will not allow fans to attend games at SoFi Stadium until further notice. In a joint statement, the Chargers and Rams said:
“While we all look forward to coming together to celebrate this new era of sports and entertainment in Los Angeles, the health and safety of our fans, community, players, and staff remain our top priority. We will continue to work with the LA County Department of Public Health and the City of Inglewood on a plan that, when circumstances permit, safely brings fans to SoFi Stadium and adheres to local, State, CDC, and NFL guidelines.”
The San Francisco 49ers also announced that all fans with 2020 season tickets have the option of crediting their payments to the 2021 season or receive a full refund as they will hold games in empty arenas. Many teams followed the decisions of the Chargers, Rams, and 49ers. The Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals later joined other teams to host their September games without a home crowd. They were the 19th and 20th teams to do so.
All NFL franchises that will hold games in empty stadiums stated their intentions to reach out to local and state officials regarding the possibility of fans attending their games later this season. There’s still hope for fans who wish to attend live games in the future.