The NFL 2020 Regular season begins tonight and it’s shaping up to be one like no other, due to the on-going coronavirus pandemic. One aspect that’s certain to make the experience of football unique and unusual is the limited number – or, in some cases, the complete absence – of fans in stadiums.
Although the league has implemented stringent protocols to keep players and staff safe, it’s left the decision of whether fans will be allowed to attend games up to each of its 32 franchises. In other words, each organization is responsible for what attendance (if any) they’ll allow into their stadiums amid the public health crisis.
The league’s flexible stance on attendance is based on the reality on the ground: regional variables with respect to Covid-19 differ across the country. Where some states have higher community spread and cases of COVID-19 others have much lower levels, and given these disparities having one rule for all didn’t seem feasible.
If you’re wondering where fans will and won’t be allowed into stadiums, here’s a quick, team-by-team breakdown of the attendance and ticket policies being implemented across the board.
NFL Attendance 2020 Team-by-Team
Arizona Cardinals: The Cardinals won’t have crowds for the first two games of the season because the state of Arizona has limited gatherings to a max of 50 people. Cardinals will be reviewing the situation with the state and local officials weekly in the hope of opening ticket sales to spectators at some point in the season.
Atlanta Falcons: The Falcons won’t have fans for the first two home games in September at the Mercedes Benz Stadium. As yet, no official word on the situation for ticket sales on games in fall.
Baltimore Ravens: The Ravens will not host fans at M&T Bank Stadium for at least the “initial part of the 2020 season,” after plans to allow 7,500 fans were rejected by the state officials. It’s a fluid situation and constantly under review.
Buffalo Bills: New York State was one of the worst-hit states by the coronavirus pandemic, triggering a state-wide ban on fans attending any sporting events for the foreseeable. The Bills hope to re-evaluate the situation after the first two home games with a view to opening ticket sales to fans sooner than later.
Carolina Panthers: The Panthers’ home opener is slated to be without fans due to restrictions on gatherings within the state of North Carolina. No options for future home games are known as yet.
Chicago Bears: As it is, Soldier Field is going to be empty in 2020 for all home games. The team is open to amending this decision if and when it is deemed safe by local authorities to do so.
Cincinnati Bengals: Paul Brown Stadium is going to be void of fans for the first home game of the season against the Los Angeles Chargers. That said, the Bengals recently received approval to allow up to 6,000 fans for two homes games: October 4 against the Jacksonville Jaguars and October 25 against the Browns.
Cleveland Browns: The Cleveland Browns have been allowed up to 6,000 fans for two games thus far this season: September 17 against the Bengals and September 27 against the Washington team (no name announced yet).
Dallas Cowboys: The AT&T Stadium will be buzzing with a limited number of fans in 2020. It’s not yet clear how many will be allowed but the NFC East hopefuls are one of few teams that will be enjoying the benefit of fan support during home games.
Denver Broncos: The first game of the season at Empower Field Mile High Stadium will be without any fans in attendance. Fans can however purchase cut-outs to attend the team’s season opener against the Tennessee Titans on Sept. 14.
Detroit Lions: the Detroit Lions announced there will be no fans in attendance for the first two games of the season. The third home game of the season is in November 1 but no word yet on whether fans will be able to purchase tickets for the clash against the Indianapolis Colts.
Green Bay Packers: Lambeau Field will not have any fans in attendance for the first two home games of the season. The third home game against Minnesota Vikings is slated for November 1 and any decision on whether fans will be in attendance will be made closer to the day.
Houston Texans: The NRG Stadium according to a statement by Houston Texans will be without fans for the first home game of the season against the highly-fancied Baltimore Ravens, one of several teams earmarked for Super Bowl contention this season. Whether ticket sales will go ahead for the remaining home games are yet to be decided.
Indianapolis Colts: The Colts are one of a few teams that will have fans in attendance, announcing up to 2,500 spectators will be allowed to attend their home opener against the Minnesota Vikings at Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday September 20.
Jacksonville Jaguars: TIAA Bank Field’s capacity will open its doors to fans in 2020 with season ticket holders being given priority. The plan involves allowing 25% of its 67,164 capacity to attend.
Kansas City Chiefs: Defending Super Bowl champions and the team to beat in 2020 according to SportsbookReview, announced Arrowhead Stadium will be host to fans. The plan is to allow 22% of the 72,936 capacity with season ticket holders getting priority.
Las Vegas Raiders: Mark Davis, owner of the Las Vegas Raiders, announced that the inaugural season of the Raiders in Las Vegas will be entirely without fans at home games at the snazzy new Allegiant Stadium.
Los Angeles Chargers and Rams: The brand-new SciFi Stadium will be void of fans for the start of the 2020 season, meaning both the Chargers and Rams home games will be without spectators. The decision will be under review as the coronavirus pandemic progress is monitored.
Miami Dolphins: Hard Rock Stadium will open its doors for the season home-opener on September 20 against Buffalo Bills. A maximum of 13.000 spectators will be allowing, with season ticket holders getting priority before others can purchase tickets.
Minnesota Vikings: Home games against the Packers and Titans to kick-off the 2020 regular season will be without any fans in attendance at U.S. Bank Stadium. Further decisions regarding fans and ticket sales will be made as the public health situation evolves.
New England Patriots: Gillette Stadium will be quiet for the first two games of the season. Massachusetts governor Charles Baker didn’t approve the Patriot’s plan to allow 20% capacity attendance.
New Orleans Saints: The Superdome will be eerily silent for the much-anticipated showdown between the Saints and Bucs in week 1 of the 2020 NFL season. Fans that were eager to see Tom Brady and Drew Brees go at it will have to contend with watching the game on TV. The Saints first two games at home will be without fans and plans for the rest of the season’s games at home will be decided at a later date.
New York Giants and Jets: MetLife Stadium will be without fans until the foreseeable. New Jersey is exercising extreme caution with sporting events after experiencing the brunt of the global pandemic earlier this year.
— Joel Siegel (@joelmsiegel) July 20, 2020
Philadelphia Eagles: The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the city of Philadelphia jointly determined Lincoln Financial Field will be closed to fans until further notice.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Heinz Field won’t have fans for the first two games of the season. The decision regarding ensuing home games is yet unknown. Season ticket holders will get priority under any capacity restrictions in the event fans are allowed in the future.
San Francisco 49ers: Levi’s Stadium will be devoid of fans for the 40ers’ home opener against divisional rivals Arizona Cardinals. California state was one of the worst hit states by the global pandemic and as such the public health situation will be monitored closely in the region.
Seattle Seahawks: CenturyLink Field will be closed to spectators for the first three home games of the season. The 12th man is a huge factor for the Seahawks when playing at home, the absence of which could have an impact on how the Seahawks contend overall. The remaining five home games are yet to be determined with respect to fans attending.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Raymond James Stadium will be without fans for the first two home games of the season, which is a huge blow to the local community that is practically giddy about Tom Brady’s arrival. The remaining six home games are yet to be decided and whether fans will get their hands on the sought-after tickets remains to be seen.
Tennessee Titans: The Titans’ season home opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars will be without fans. The ensuing home games are yet to be decided officially.
Washington: FedEx Field is expected to sit empty for the entire season until otherwise noted.