Titans Plan to Limit Seating at Nissan Stadium

Mike Hogan

As the Tennessee Titans continue to navigate murky waters due to the coronavirus pandemic, one of the biggest unanswered questions is whether or not fans will be able to fill the stands at Nissan Stadium.

For now, the Titans plan to reduce capacity by spreading out seats to ensure social distancing. In addition, extra sanitization measures will be implemented in the stadium.

According to the team’s official website, the Titans communicated with their season ticket holders on Monday about their plans for the 2020 NFL season. The letter states the Titans will work with state and local governments to determine the number of fans, if any at all, who can attend games this fall. The letter also gave season ticket holders the option to opt out of the 2020 season and return in 20201.

In 2019, the Titans averaged 64,509 fans per game at Nissan Stadium (93.3 percent capacity, 21st in the NFL).

Season Ticket Members,

Over the past several days, there have been many reports regarding stadium capacities at NFL venues for the 2020 season. As these reports continue to emerge, we wanted to let our fans know that we are currently working closely with NFL, state and local officials on a solution for Titans games to be developed with the health and safety of our fans at the forefront of all decisions.

Based on CDC guidelines and initial feedback from other governing authorities, it is unlikely that Nissan Stadium will be open to full capacity this fall. The presence of and the exact number of fans has not yet been determined. Despite this, it is our hope that all Season Ticket Members will have the chance to attend a number of our games.

"The health and safety of our players, staff and fans are our highest priorities as we explore ways to accommodate Season Ticket Members at Nissan Stadium this season," said Burke Nihill, Titans President/CEO. "We are in the process of working with the NFL, Metro Health Department and healthcare professionals to determine how we can safely provide a first-class experience in the stadium this year."

Updated information regarding your season tickets and available options for the 2020 season will be emailed to you in the coming weeks. We can confirm that among the options will be the ability to opt out of the 2020 season and to apply existing payments to the 2021 season. There will also be an opportunity to secure a refund for any amount you've paid towards 2020 tickets.

Please note, if you are currently enrolled in a payment plan for the 2020 season, all remaining installments have been suspended as of July 1, 2020.

Last week, David Kaplan of The Athletic reported that the NFL is considering making fans who attend games this season sign liability waivers protecting teams from COVID-19-related lawsuits. That proposal will likely be sent to all 32 teams this week, along with a long list of other practices for re-opening stadiums during the pandemic.

The lack of fans (or complete absence of them) will have an inevitable impact on a team’s homefield advantage.

Since they moved into Nissan Stadium in 1999, the Titans have gone 95-73 in home games (a 56.5 winning percentage). Eleven times in 21 seasons they went 5-3 or better, including three in a row from 2016-18. That matched a three-year run from 2007-09 for the longest in the stadium history.

Twenty-six of the league’s 32 franchises have winning home records during that same time period.

Four of the Titans’ first six games this season are scheduled to be played at Nissan Stadium, including all three in October, providing the team with an opportunity to get off to a fast start before playing six road games over the course of the final 10 weeks.

The looming decision on fans will also have a great impact on Nashville’s economy.

The Music City has become a destination for fans of opposing teams. Butch Spyridon, President and CEO of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corporation (NCVC), told AllTitans in June that restaurants, bars, grocery stores, gas stations and other businesses would take big hits this season if less fans traveled to Titans games.

“Normally, a good season, without playing Buffalo, New Orleans or Pittsburgh, we would see 2,000 or 3,000 visiting fans per game,” Spyridon said. “When the Titans play those teams, Philadelphia or New England, we saw upwards of 10,000 visiting fans. Depending on the schedule, depending on the teams, it’s a pretty dramatic impact. You do get some of the television exposure, but it's not the same without fans.”

Most notably, the Titans have home games against Buffalo, Pittsburgh and Chicago in 2020.

The next step for the Titans is training camp, which is scheduled to start on July 28 at Saint Thomas Sports Park. This topic, however, will surely stay in the minds of many as summer turns into fall.