Patriots president Jonathan Kraft believes because of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, Gillette Stadium will have full fan capacity in time for the 2021 season, according to Michael Silverman of The Boston Globe.
While at one of several “life-after COVID-19” virtual panels at this year’s MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference held Thursday and Friday, Kraft explained his reasoning.
"Once vaccines have been available in a community for a long enough period of time where anyone who’s wanted one could’ve gotten it and reached two weeks past their second shot, just to take the outlying point, then I don’t know why you shouldn’t be at full capacity," he said. "It’s sort of intellectually dishonest to say we’re going to be at a quarter percent of capacity even though theoretically you have herd immunity in the local population. At some point you have to get back to living your lives.”
With the vaccine rollout well underway, the NFL could see full fan capacities in their stadiums in time for the beginning of its season.
“As President Biden said, April 19, (the vaccine’s) available to everybody in America,” Kraft said. “Clearly, there’s a backlog so let’s say anybody who really wants it will have it by June 1 or June 15—we’re still months out from the start of the NFL season (in August).”
As of Thursday, nearly 20% of people in the U.S. have been fully vaccinated, according to The Washington Post. In addition, one-third of Americans have been partially vaccinated. Massachusetts has the 10th highest vaccine rate among U.S. states, with 22.9% of its population fully vaccinated and 40.1% partially vaccinated.