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Joe Burrow era to begin without fans, State of Ohio denies Bengals' exemption request

The Bengals won't have fans in the stands for the home opener

CINCINNATI — The Joe Burrow era will begin without fans in the stands. The Bengals announced that the State of Ohio denied their request for exemption, which would have allowed them to have some fans in attendance for the home opener on Sept. 13.  

“For several months, the Bengals have worked diligently with the NFL, with local governments and with experts in the health community to develop a plan to responsibly host fans during the 2020 NFL season at Paul Brown Stadium,” Executive Vice President Katie Blackburn said in a statement. “The Bengals filed a request for exemption seeking to have fans at games. The variance we requested has not been granted by the state at this time. While we want fans to attend our games, we accept and understand the State of Ohio’s position. We will monitor the situation moving forward and continue exploring whether fans may attend games as the season goes along.

“Paul Brown Stadium will not be the same without our fans, but we hope everyone shares our excitement for the 2020 football season. The Bengals went through a busy offseason in free agency and the draft, and the roster promises to be fresh, talented and exciting. We value the support of our fans and will do our best to keep everyone up to date and connected with the team through our coverage on and across our social media accounts. We look forward to welcoming fans at Paul Brown Stadium when permitted by the State of Ohio.”

Burrow didn't seem to think playing in an empty stadium would impact him. Obviously he would prefer to have fans in the stands. 

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"I really don’t think it would effect anybody too much," Burrow said last month. "When you’re on the field you kinda block everything out anyway. Whether there’s 100,000 people in the stands, 10,000 or zero — the good ones [players], it doesn’t matter.”

The Bengals are in the process of reaching out to season ticket members regarding the 2020 and 2021 seasons. 

Check out the Bengals entire 2020 schedule here