PHILADELPHIA - After 14 months, the City of Philadelphia has put plans in place that will allow fans to return to Eagles games for the 2021 season.
The city announced that restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic will ease further on May 21 and all safer at home restrictions will be ending, with the exception of mask requirements, on Friday, June 11.
That, of course, will be in plenty of time for the 2021 NFL preseason, which will begin in August.
The full NFL schedule is set to be released on Wednesday, May 12, and fans will be allowed back to Lincoln Financial Field in large numbers for the first time since the 2019 season.
"Today's announcement by the City of Philadelphia to lift stadium capacity limits in time for the start of the 2021 NFL season is tremendous news for the Philadelphia Eagles, our fans, and the community," Eagles President Don Smolenski said in a statement.
"We are excited to welcome our fans home and look forward to Lincoln Financial Field returning to form as an unrivaled home-field advantage for our team. “
The Eagles organization worked diligently over the last year to develop a number of enhanced health and safety protocols and Lincoln Financial Field achieved Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) STAR accreditation for implementing the most stringent protocols for cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention in an effort to provide a safe experience.
“We have always been committed to providing our fans a great gameday experience in a safe, clean and friendly environment,” Smolenski stated. “As we look ahead to a full stadium, we encourage our community to get vaccinated."
The 2021 season will mark the first that a significant number of fans will get to see not only the 2021 draft class headlined by former Alabama stars DeVonta Smith and Landon Dickerson but also the 2020 class featuring starting quarterback Jalen Hurts and WR Jalen Reagor.
John McMullen contributes Eagles coverage for SI.com's EagleMaven and is the NFL Insider for JAKIB Media. You can listen to John, alongside legendary sports-talk host Jody McDonald every morning from 8-10 on ‘Birds 365,” streaming live on both PhillyVoice.com and YouTube. John is also the host of his own show "Extending the Play" on AM1490 in South Jersey. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen
Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s EagleMaven and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.