The Green Bay Packers officially announced their plans for fan attendance during the 2020 NFL season on Friday. Through an official release posted on Twitter by Adam Schefter, the Packers said they are planning as though fans will be allowed into the stands on game day. However, the team also said how many fans will be allowed in is going to be greatly reduced in order to accommodate various coronavirus social distancing policies. The team also said that while it remains optimistic, there is a chance fans won’t be allowed at games this season.
“At this time, the team is preparing to have fans in attendance with new policies and safety measures to allow for appropriate social distancing,” the release explained, adding this policy will, “require the stadium’s seating capacity to be significantly reduced. Face coverings will also be required and other necessary precautions will be in place. As a result, the special experience to which fans are accustomed at Lambeau Field will look and feel very different.”
The Packers announcement comes as leagues are still trying to figure out just how to carry out their respective seasons. Major League Baseball is officially starting its abbreviated spring training in preparation for the beginning of a 60-game regular season on July 23.
The NBA is scheduled to attempt to conclude its regular season and carry out the playoffs in Orlando, Florida, later this month as well.
The NHL wants to carry out its playoffs later in July and in early August and is reportedly looking at two host cities in Canada in order to avoid a resurgent wave of coronavirus infections in the U.S.
The Packers are not clear on the policy for entry into Lambeau field because it won’t be entirely up to them. State and local officials could make it illegal for NFL games to be carried out with anyone in the stands. New York and California have both issued directives in the past that allowed for professional sports to be played in those states but they must be in front of empty stadiums.
It’s also thought the NFL could make a blanket policy covering the Packers and the rest of the league that would force teams to play without an audience.
The Inquisitr reported in May that Troy Vincent, the NFL’s Executive Vice President of Football Operations, said the league expected to be able to play in front of fans in some capacity, but that the situation would be dictated by the pandemic.