Following the state of Pennsylvania’s update to its event attendance restrictions due to a judge’s ruling in September, the Philadelphia Eagles will once again be welcoming fans to Lincoln Financial Field. The team announced it would be permitting 7,500 in attendance for its upcoming home game against the Baltimore Ravens.
“We have been working very closely with state and local officials, public health experts, and the National Football League on a number of scenarios to safely bring Eagles fans back to Lincoln Financial Field,” President Don Smolenski said. “After many thoughtful and active discussions, we are thrilled to announce that the fan experience will return to Lincoln Financial Field this Sunday.
“On behalf of the Philadelphia Eagles, I would like to thank Governor Wolf, Mayor Kenney, and their respective representatives for the support and guidance over these past few months. We will all continue to stay in close communication and will be prepared to adjust and adapt as needed.”
That number includes all players and stadium personnel, so the number of actual fans allowed to access a ticket purchase opportunity for the game is likely to be much smaller. Season ticket members who opted in to the option to purchase tickets for 2020 games if fans were allowed can access their opportunity beginning Wednesday. They will also be able to purchase tickets for the Thursday Night Football contest against the rival New York Giants later this month at this time. Tickets for games later in the schedule will be available at a later date, should authorities continue to allow event attendance.
As with most events to be granted the ability to host in-person attendance, safety and social distancing protocols will be heavily involved in the affair. The Eagles are selling tickets in groups of up to six in a “pod” format that will allow for adequate distance between groups. Cashless concessions and mobile ticketing will be in place to avoid points of contact where possible, and masks will be required for all in the crowd.
The first NFL crowd in the state saw approximately 4,708 watch the Steelers take a 38-29 victory over Philadelphia over last weekend. Prior to that point, neither team had hosted any fans for 2020 due to a harsh restriction on crowds in the state put in place by Governor Tom Wolf due to the pandemic. U.S. District Judge William Stickman IV ruled the crowd limit, which stood at 25 for indoor gatherings and 250 for outdoor, regardless of venue size, were unconstitutional. Following that ruling, the limits were revised to as many as 3,750 for indoor venues and 7,500 outdoors, with the limit varying with the size of the venue and ability to safely operate with distancing guidelines.
It was unclear whether or not city officials would allow Philadelphia to take advantage of the newly relaxed crowd limit, as it was one of the first municipalities to announce that no fans would be allowed in 2020. But team and local officials were able to negotiate to allow for the fans return to Lincoln Financial Field.
Per ticketing Twitter personality Don Shano, Philadelphia makes it 15 NFL franchises currently allowing fans in some capacity at home games.
According to the #NFL, 15 teams currently have approval to host fans at varying percentages of stadium capacity: Atlanta, Carolina, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Miami, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay and Tennessee.
— Don Shano (@don_shano) October 14, 2020