While training camp is scheduled to begin in the coming weeks, teams around the NFL have already announced their decision to eliminate or reduce fan capacity for the 2020 NFL season. It appears even those that do opt to have fans will need to abide by common public safety protocols.
The NFL’s vice president of communications Brian McCarthy officially announced that masks will be required for fans attending any games during the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic this season, via Twitter:
For those wondering, yes, it is league-wide: fans at NFL games this season will be required to wear face coverings pic.twitter.com/D139KGKQ4r
— Brian McCarthy (@NFLprguy) July 22, 2020
Teams have largely based their restrictions on the social distancing rules placed by their local or state governments. Regardless, the NFL is taking steps to establish their own base set of guidelines to enforce at stadiums in the 2020 campaign.
The league’s front office and NFLPA have made tremendous strides in their negotiations to develop viable, testing protocols and a safe work environment for players. This included eliminating the preseason and a longer ramp-up period to give them ample time to prepare for the upcoming season. Meanwhile, both sides are still finalizing a deal for those that opt to sit out on a voluntary or high-risk basis.
The NFL is bracing itself for the financial repercussions of playing through the pandemic and the lack of fan attendance is certainly a primary factor in their looming loss of revenue.
Although a few teams are still holding out hope to fit some of their stands, the league may have to continue doubling down on the health guidelines if they hope to avoid any further setbacks.