Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Will there be fans at NFL games in 2020? Where all 32 teams stand for the regular season


With training camps open, NFL fans across the country are wondering whether they will be able to attend games once the 2020 season starts.

The answer is it depends on where and when. Guidelines vary from state to state regarding the coronavirus pandemic. Some teams have announced they will proceed with limited capacities, while others have said they will progress with no fans.

For many, it’s still wait and see. We asked each of our reporters to check with team officials to see where things currently stand. Here is what they were told:

Jump to:
NE | NO | NYG | NYJ | PHI | PIT | SF


Stadium: Orchard Park Stadium

Capacity: 71,608

What we know: New York State issued a guideline last month prohibiting fans not only from attending live sporting events but also from tailgating around the stadium. The Bills have given season-ticket holders the option to suspend their commitment until the 2021 season but are ready to offer priority seating to season-ticket holders who maintain their commitment, in the event limited seating is allowed. — Marcel Louis-Jacques

Stadium: Hard Rock Stadium

Capacity: 65,326

What we know: The Dolphins haven’t officially decided whether they will have fans in the stadium and at what capacity. That info will come in the weeks ahead in consultation with health experts and government officials. In early May, Dolphins CEO and vice chairman Tom Garfinkel released a mock-up for Hard Rock Stadium to hold approximately 15,000 fans with social distancing, masks, touchless entry and cashless payment methods. The Dolphins say when a capacity is determined, season-ticket members will have first priority to purchase tickets based on their tenure. The team is also giving all season-ticket members the option to roll their 2020 payments into the 2021 season and retain all of their tenure, seats and associated benefits. They also strongly encouraged any season-ticket members who may be considered at risk based on CDC guidelines to exercise the 2021 option and stay at home in 2020. — Cameron Wolfe

Stadium: Gillette Stadium

Capacity: 66,829

What we know: The Patriots previously announced that Gillette Stadium will be limited to about 20% capacity this season, pending state and local approval. Those with tickets will be asked to maintain physical distancing of at least 6 feet from other parties. Tickets will be arranged in blocks of 10 seats or less, and the first eight rows of stadium seats will not be used. — Mike Reiss

Stadium: MetLife Stadium

Capacity: 82,500

What we know: No fans are permitted to watch the Jets at MetLife Stadium, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced recently in conjunction with the Jets and Giants. They said the order is in place “until further notice,” leaving some wiggle room. — Rich Cimini


Stadium: M&T Bank Stadium

Capacity: 71,008

What we know: If fans are permitted to attend under state and local government rules/regulations, the Ravens announced that a significantly reduced seating capacity at M&T Bank Stadium would be necessary. Based on the social distancing guidelines and fan safety protocols developed by health experts, governmental officials and the NFL, it is expected that the stadium capacity – if fans are allowed – would be fewer than 14,000. “To offer a proper level of safety for fans who want to attend games, a reduction in capacity is necessary,” Ravens president Dick Cass said. “We are disappointed that this will be a disruption for many ticket buyers, but we have an obligation to our fans and our community to keep M&T Bank Stadium as safe as possible.” — Jamison Hensley

Stadium: Paul Brown Stadium

Capacity: 65,515

What we know: In July, the Bengals told season-ticket holders that Paul Brown Stadium will have “greatly reduced” seating if the team is allowed to have fans this season. In that scenario, those with season tickets will be reseated to comply with physical distancing. Face coverings will be required and tailgating prohibited. Fans can choose to opt out of attending 2020 games and keep their season tickets for 2021. — Ben Baby

Stadium: FirstEnergy Stadium

Capacity: 67,895

What we know: Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine recently said it’s “too early” to determine what will be safe regarding fans in the Buckeye State. Ohio State announced it will cap fan capacity at 20,000 at Ohio Stadium. The Browns, however, continue to call the situation fluid. — Jake Trotter

Stadium: Heinz Field

Capacity: 68,400

What we know: The Steelers are planning to have a limited number of fans at Heinz Field, but that reduced capacity hasn’t been determined yet. Fans who purchased single-game tickets to games this season through Ticketmaster and other third-party websites were recently informed their transactions had been canceled and refunded, leaving season-ticket holders with the best chance of seeing a game in-person at Heinz Field this year. — Brooke Pryor


Stadium: NRG Stadium

Capacity: 72,220

What we know: The Texans have not announced a plan for fan attendance, but according to their team website, if there are fans at games, NRG Stadium’s capacity will be reduced to approximately 14,000 seats and the seats in the first eight rows of the lower level will not be sold. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s latest order allows for 50% capacity at stadiums in the state. — Sarah Barshop

Stadium: Lucas Oil Stadium

Capacity: 67,000

What we know: The Colts have announced that they will have no more than about 25% capacity during games at Lucas Oil Stadium. They have two packages — Plan A and Plan B — for fans to choose from. Plan A features home games against Minnesota, Baltimore, Houston and Tennessee. Plan B will include home games against the New York Jets, Cincinnati, Green Bay and Jacksonville. — Mike Wells

Stadium: TIAA Bank Field

Capacity: 69,132

What we know: The Jaguars told season-ticket holders they will be able to seat approximately 25% of TIAA Bank Field’s capacity at each home game in 2020. The stadium holds 67,164, so the capacity will be 16,791. The team said any possible increase in capacity will depend on developments regarding the coronavirus as well as any local, state or federal instructions. — Mike DiRocco

Stadium: Nissan Stadium

Capacity: 69,143

What we know: The Titans plan to have fans at Nissan Stadium in a limited capacity. They are working with state and local government officials to determine the number. Reducing the capacity will allow seats to be more spread out to encourage social distancing, and the Titans are also looking into increased sanitization methods. Season-ticket holders were given the option to opt out of the 2020 season with a refund and not lose their seat license. The priority is to ensure that as many season-ticket holders as possible can attend games. Fans who purchased single-game tickets had their orders canceled and will be refunded. — Turron Davenport


Stadium: Empower Field at Mile High

Capacity: 76,125

What we know: Broncos president and CEO Joe Ellis said this past week that no decision had been made if the Broncos would have a limited number of fans at their home games or no fans, but that the decision would be made in conjunction with both local and state officials. Ellis said: “They’re proceeding with caution and so are we. We want to do the right thing. I don’t have a set number of fans for you nor do I know when fans will be in the stands. We’re going to work through that. We’re going to do that in partnership with the governor and the mayor, the City of Denver.” Ellis added the team would continue to be in contact with city and state governments, and how neighboring states are contending with the virus could impact the decision. — Jeff Legwold

Stadium: Arrowhead Stadium

Capacity: 76,416

What we know: The Chiefs are planning for home games with reduced capacity, though details of their plan have not been released. The Chiefs said they would consult with the NFL, local government officials and public health experts to determine a suitable number of tickets to sell for each home game. Arrowhead is a spacious stadium with three levels, making social distancing with a reduced capacity possible, at least in the seating area. Whatever tickets the Chiefs issue will be on a single-game basis. — Adam Teicher

Stadium: Allegiant Stadium

Capacity: 65,000

What we know: Raiders owner Mark Davis followed through on an earlier feeling by emailing Raiders season-ticket holders on Monday to tell them that fans will not be allowed at home games this season. He also said earlier that if no fans could attend home games, neither would he. It is a unique situation for the Raiders, who have moved into a sparkling new 65,000-seat, $1.9 billion palace off the Las Vegas Strip. But because the NFL wants the first eight rows of seats from the field blocked off to create more social distancing from players on the sideline (and to create advertising revenue via tarps covering said seats), Davis is nonplussed. “The optics are terrible; advertising on top of seats belonging to people you’re telling they can’t come to the game,” said Davis, who added that his idea of installing a Plexiglas barrier between the first row of seats and the field rather than blocking off seats was never discussed. “I’d rather have everybody pissed at me than just one person. I’ve got to make it up to them, and I will. This is all about safety and equity.” — Paul Gutierrez

Stadium: SoFi Stadium

Capacity: 72,240

What we know: The Chargers have not officially announced capacity restrictions, but they expect theirs to be similar if not the same as the Rams’, as the teams share SoFi Stadium. Capacity limitations have not been finalized, but expect a cap of 15,000 fans or the possibility that the stadium will be empty in its debut season. — Lindsey Thiry


Stadium: AT&T Stadium

Capacity: 80,000

What we know: The Cowboys plan to have fans in the stands in 2020, but the exact total has not been made public. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said stadiums can have up to 50% capacity, which would peg the attendance at 40,000; however, in following CDC guidelines, the figure would be much less than that. The Cowboys will not have their field suites in use and the NFL is putting tarps over the first eight rows of the stadium, which would eat up some significant seating. The Cowboys have canceled all season tickets and are giving their holders the option to buy single-game seats while also receiving a refund or the ability to push the money into next year’s season tickets. — Todd Archer

Stadium: MetLife Stadium

Capacity: 82,500

What we know: No fans are allowed at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey “until further notice.” This according to a recent executive order from Gov. Phil Murphy which caps outdoor gatherings at 500 people. It makes it unlikely that the Giants will have fans at games until (optimistically) later in the season. The same applies to the Jets. — Jordan Raanan

Stadium: Lincoln Financial Field

Capacity: 69,596

What we know: Currently, Philadelphia prohibits outdoor events involving more than 50 people, meaning no fans in the stands for now. The mayor’s office called it a “fluid situation,” though, leaving open the possibility that fans could be allowed to attend at some point this season should circumstances change for the better. — Tim McManus

Stadium: FedEx Field

Capacity: 82,000

What we know: Washington has a tentative plan for fans to attend, sending out a letter to season-ticket holders that they will use mobile ticketing only and that fans must wear masks if they attend. They’ve given fans the opportunity to get a refund for season tickets — or apply them to 2021. But there has not yet been any decision on how many fans would be able to attend. It likely would end up to be 25,000 at most, but all plans at this point are tentative. In the letter, the team told season-ticket holders that “we couldn’t be more excited to welcome fans back to FedEx Field as we head into this new era of Washington football.” The team said it would release further details in coming weeks. — John Keim


Stadium: Soldier Field

Capacity: 61,500

What we know: Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has not signed off yet on legislation that would permit fans to attend Bears home games at Soldier Field. In the event the Bears do receive permission to host a limited number of fans, the team informed season-ticket holders that the club will not offer season or multigame ticket packages this year. Season-ticket holders, starting with PSL holders, will have the first opportunity to purchase single-game tickets. — Jeff Dickerson



Rob Ninkovich and Damien Woody weigh in on the concept of a fanless NFL season.

Stadium: Ford Field

Capacity: 65,000

What we know: The Lions have said they are waiting on regulations and guidance from the state of Michigan before making any official announcements. As of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s latest executive order on July 29, no live audiences are permitted for sporting events in Wayne County, where the Lions play. But things can change between now and September. — Michael Rothstein

Stadium: Lambeau Field

Capacity: 81,441

What we know: The Packers still haven’t decided whether they will allow fans, but if they do it will be no more than 12,000 in the 80,000-plus capacity Lambeau Field. Packers president Mark Murphy said: “We followed the CDC guidelines and determined that we would only have 10,000 to 12,000 people in the stands if we decide to allow fans to attend.” The Packers won’t have fans at their training camp or at the annual family night, which in the past has drawn more than 60,000 people per year to the evening practice at Lambeau. — Rob Demovsky

Stadium: U.S. Bank Stadium

Capacity: 66,655

What we know: The Vikings have not announced a specific attendance figure for home games but acknowledged that games will be played at “a significantly reduced capacity and include a different in-stadium experience.” If games are indeed played in U.S. Bank Stadium at a limited capacity, the priority will be given to stadium builders license owners. Season-ticket holders have the chance to opt out of their season tickets by requesting a full refund for the 2020 season or have their accounts credited towards a 2021 season-ticket package. There is also the option for fans to keep their tickets and if games are canceled or reduced capacity is implemented: “A credit for the portion of your paid 2020 season tickets applicable to the missed game(s) will automatically be applied to your account, unless you request a full refund for the missed 2020 game(s).” — Courtney Cronin


Stadium: Mercedes-Benz Stadium

Capacity: 71,000

What we know: The Falcons are preparing for a limited capacity of 10,000-20,000 inside 71,000-seat Mercedes-Benz Stadium. It will cater to 55,000 PSL and suite owners through a drawing based on preference for the first four home games, with those fans receiving one game each, possibly two. The system will be evaluated to determined how to proceed for the last four home games. Falcons officials understand nothing is final, as higher authorities could step in and say no fans are allowed to attend. — Vaughn McClure

Stadium: Bank of America Stadium

Capacity: 75,523

What we know: The team has made no official statement, but owner David Tepper has said publicly that he believes fans should be in the stands this season. There have been discussions of about 20,000 fans in the 75,000 seat stadium. PSL owners already have been sent a letter saying they will have the option to purchase tickets, but they can opt out without losing their PSL. — David Newton

Stadium: Mercedes-Benz Superdome

Capacity: 73,208

What we know: The Saints have not yet finalized a plan as they continue to work with city and state officials, medical experts and the CDC to find the safest way to have a reduced number of fans in the Superdome. They are targeting the middle of this month to submit a plan to the governor and New Orleans mayor for approval, though that plan remains a work in progress. — Mike Triplett

Stadium: Raymond James Stadium

Capacity: 65,890

What we know: The Bucs are still determining at what capacity they can safely operate at in 2020, but the team is rolling over all season-ticket holders’ payments for 2021 or they may use that credit to purchase single-game tickets for 2020. Fans who wish to roll over their credit will also be given priority access to single-game 2020 tickets based on tenure. Fans will also have the option for a full refund for 2020 but will still receive an offer for a renewal in 2021 in the same location. The deadline to apply for a refund is Aug. 9. Unused parking funds can be rolled over for 2021 or fans can request a refund. — Jenna Laine


Stadium: State Farm Stadium

Capacity: 63,400

What we know: In an email telling season-ticket holders that their ticket plans will be canceled for the 2020 season, the Cardinals said “it is not clear at this point how many spectators — if any — will be permitted to attend Cardinals home games in 2020.” Until that is decided, which may not be until the eleventh hour because of Arizona’s high rates, the Cardinals have yet to publicly announce any plans. — Josh Weinfuss

Stadium: SoFi Stadium

Capacity: 72,240

What we know: The Rams announced that the capacity at SoFi Stadium will be capped at 15,000 fans this season, and the possibility remains that no fans will be allowed to attend games in 2020. — Lindsey Thiry

Stadium: Levi’s Stadium

Capacity: 68,500

What we know: Given the state of things in California, it’s hard to imagine the 49ers having fans at games this year even in a limited capacity, though no official decision has been made yet on that front. For now, the Niners have said that they “may not be able to host fans in a full or limited capacity this season.” With that in mind, the team has already said all single-game ticket sales for the season will be refunded and season-ticket holders can decline tickets for the season with the ability to renew next year. If fans are permitted, they will be required to wear masks and tickets will be made available on a game-by-game basis, with season-ticket holders having first priority. — Nick Wagoner

Stadium: CenturyLink Field

Capacity: 69,000

What we know: The Seahawks have not announced a range of fans they plan on allowing at each home game, but all signs point to a significantly reduced capacity being the best-case scenario. King County is paused in Phase 2 of Gov. Jay Inslee’s four-phase reopening plan. Large sporting events are not allowed until the final phase, meaning things would have to get significantly better in a hurry for CenturyLink Field to have any fans in the stands by the time the Seahawks play their home opener against New England in Week 2. The team has allowed season-ticket holders the option of opting out of the 2020 season. — Brady Henderson

Ebenezer Robbins
Ebenezer Robbins
Introvert. Beer guru. Communicator. Travel fanatic. Web advocate. Certified alcohol geek. Tv buff. Subtly charming internet aficionado.

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