NFL to Allow Teams to Set Capacity Limits for Stadiums

Darin Alexander Baydoun

It is the current reality that the sports world is facing an ongoing coronavirus pandemic. It would seem for any league to be able to have games played that they would have to be without fans so that the virus wouldn’t risk being spread at the often-large gatherings that are sporting events. For the NFL, where all of the teams’ stadiums can fit at least 60,000 people, it would seem essential to determine precisely how many people would be allowed to go to games, if any. 

Well, instead of issuing a mandate for the entire league to follow regarding attendance, the NFL will not place a capacity limit on attendance for teams during the 2020 season. Instead, it will allow organizations to determine their capacity limits beginning with the preseason in August, according to a report by The Athletic. 

The catch will be though that those clubs will have to follow local health and social distancing guidelines regarding COVID-19. “Attendance will be a state-by-state, county-by-county thing,” an anonymous NFL source told The Athletic. “It will not be a one size fits all.” A situation could prove complicated depending on how severe the coronavirus is when the games are played. We’ve just seen a significant surge in cases after states began to reopen. Depending on what the policies might be, it would be fair to wonder if teams will be completely comfortable playing in stadiums that are allowing high numbers of people considering the risk that could come from that. 

All of this comes without even discussing the potential competitive disadvantage for teams who may have to play with little or no fans in the stands versus teams that could have most of their stadium full. Having a lot of crowd noise at games is considered a significant home-field advantage, and for individual teams to potentially not have close to any sound at their stadiums and then having to go on the road and dealing with more massive opposing crowds could lead to complaints as well. Tell us what you think in the comment section below.

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