Texans Will Have 13,000 Fans at NRG Stadium Against Vikings

Will Ragatz

The Texans are allowing fans at NRG Stadium beginning this Sunday with their Week 4 matchup against the Vikings, the team announced on Monday. They'll host up to 13,300 fans, which is roughly 20 percent of the stadium's capacity. The Texans didn't have any fans during their first home game of the season, a loss to the Ravens in Week 2.

The team said that this decision to re-open the stadium to fans was made after collaborating with local officials, the NFL, and the CDC. There will, of course, be protocols in place designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 during an ongoing pandemic.

Changes to the fan experience will include the requirement that everyone wear a mask while at NRG Park, physically distanced seating and distance markers and queue lines to enforce physical distancing at stadium entries and in concession, retail stores and restroom lines. The Stadium will also implement full mobile ticketing and cashless transactions to minimize touchpoints, enhanced cleaning and disinfecting measures and additional food preparation and serving safety protocols at open concession areas. Finally, there will be more than 475 hand sanitizing stations throughout the Stadium, and signage and other messaging will be displayed throughout the stadium and parking lots reminding fans to follow the recommended protocols to stop the spread of COVID-19.

This will be the largest crowd the Vikings have played in front of in 2020. There were no fans at their opener against the Packers at U.S. Bank Stadium. The Colts had 2,500 fans in Indianapolis in Week 2. This week, the Vikings hosted 250 staff and family members "as a test of our game day safety protocols in preparation for the potential return of fans at home games later this season." The 250 fans were socially distanced in a couple sections in one corner of U.S. Bank Stadium.

13,300 fans is over five times the amount the Vikings played in front of in Week 2. It likely won't make a huge difference, but there will certainly be some element of a home-field advantage for the Texans this weekend.

Both the Texans and Vikings are sitting at 0-3 and will be searching for their first win of the season. Houston opened as four-point favorites at home.

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