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Which NFL teams are allowing fans in stadiums this year? A breakdown

A general view of SoFi Stadium prior to a Los Angeles Rams team scrimmage on August 29, 2020 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey)
A general view of SoFi Stadium prior to a Los Angeles Rams team scrimmage on August 29, 2020 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey) (Getty Images)

The NFL is slated to kick off this week, with empty stadiums and masks on the sidelines as the prominent theme for the start of the season, and possibly its entirety.

But there are obvious questions fans are wondering, and the league and franchises will have to answer these as the season progresses.

For example ...

When it comes down to money, is it worth it to have a limited number of fans in the stadiums?

It actually isn’t, according to an article on NBC Sports.

It’s not that teams won’t make any money with fans in the stands. It’s that they won’t make enough to justify the hassles of having fans, according to the article.

Breaking down the stadium operating costs and revenue (tickets, parking, concessions) from having 15,000 fans in a stadium, it amounts to roughly $2.4 million in extra money for a franchise for the entire year.

Granted, $2.4 million is better than nothing and it sounds like a nice chunk of change, but to billionaire owners who already are making a healthy profit from the league’s TV deal by itself, it’s not worth the trouble, according to the article.

However, to enhance or maintain relationships with fans, teams that reside in states where fans are allowed will still welcome at least a few fans through the turnstiles.

What teams won’t have fans at home stadiums to start the year?

Here’s a breakdown of where each team currently stands, according to Newsday.

  • Arizona - No fans for the first two home games.
  • Atlanta - No fans for the first two home games.
  • Baltimore - No fans at home games until further notice.
  • Buffalo - No fans for the first two home games.
  • Carolina - No fans for the home opener.
  • Chicago - No fans at home games until further notice.
  • Cincinnati - 6,000 fans are allowed at the team’s first two home games, according to an announcement by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine.
  • Cleveland - 6,000 fans are allowed at the team’s first two home games, according to an announcement by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine.
  • Dallas - Have not made an announcement about fans for the home opener.
  • Denver - No fans for the home opener.
  • Detroit - No fans for the first two home games.
  • Green Bay - No fans for the first two home games.
  • Houston - No fans for the home opener.
  • Indianapolis - Awaiting approval on a plan to have 10,500 fans (15% capacity) at Sept. 20 home opener.
  • Jacksonville - Will have 25% capacity (17,000 fans) at home games until further notice.
  • Kansas City - Plans to have 22% capacity (16,000 fans) at home games until further notice.
  • Las Vegas - In its inaugural season in Vegas, there will be no fans allowed at the team’s gleaming new stadium for any game this year until further notice.
  • Los Angeles - The Chargers and Rams won’t have any fans at their new home stadium until further notice.
  • Miami - A maximum of 20% capacity (13,000 fans) will be allowed for the team’s home opener.
  • Minnesota - No fans for the first two home games.
  • New England - No fans for the first two home games.
  • New Orleans - No fans for the team’s home opener.
  • New York - No fans at home games for the Giants and Jets until further notice.
  • Philadelphia - No fans at home games until further notice.
  • Pittsburgh - No fans for the first two home games.
  • San Francisco - No fans at home games until further notice.
  • Seattle - No fans for the first three home games.
  • Tampa Bay - No fans for the first two home games.
  • Tennessee - No fans for the home opener.
  • Washington - No fans are allowed at home games throughout the entire season until further notice.

Will fans still try and tailgate outside stadiums?

This could be a way for teams to recoup some of the money lost by not having fans inside stadiums, according to NBC Sports.

It will likely be up to different franchises and leaders within their cities and states, but it’s possible parking lots could be set up for tailgates, as long as there are social distancing and mask parameters in place.


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