NFL mulling COVID-19 waiver form from fans in attendance for 2020 games, per report
It remains to be seen whether NFL fans will be in the seats or not when Week 1 begins on September 10.
While owners and players remain confident at least some fans will be allowed in stadiums, the recent resurgence of COVID-19 has cast doubt with respect to fan admittance this fall.
Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic reported the NFL is considering a waiver proposal, which would shield teams from liability in the event fans test positive. Kaplan added the proposal is likely to be sent to all 32 teams sometime next week.
If teams approve the proposal, it seems the forms will be prepared and submitted electronically (via Kaplan):
“It is probably something you do electronically, just trying to figure out the operational challenges associated with waivers,” said one source familiar with plans under development by the stadium reopening working group headed by NFL Sr. VP of Security Cathy Lanier. “Just have to work out how best to do that.”
This is probably a no-brainer for owners, though they still figure to face challenges from respective state governors hoping to avoid large crowds.
There is also the challenge of determining ticketing. If only a percentage of the stadium can be filled, how will teams decide who gets first access to a limited number of tickets?
Regardless, the hope is fans will be able to participate. Numerous NFL players have voiced their feelings about playing behind closed doors. Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan even said not having fans would alter cadences and strategies for offenses.
The season is still a couple months away. But with training camps beginning later this month and preseason commencing four weeks later, the NFL is trying to cover all its bases.