Wednesday afternoon, the XFL announced that Sunday's game between the Seattle Dragons and LA Wildcats will be impacted by coronavirus concerns. The game will continue as planned at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, but there will be no fans in attendance. The game will still be broadcast live.
This news follows a proclamation by Washington governor Jay Inslee. He revealed that events with more than 250 attendees in King, Snohomish, and Pierce counties are now prohibited by the state.
"This is an unprecedented public health situation and we can't wait until we're in the middle of it to slow it down," Inslee said in a statement. "We've got to get ahead of the curve. One main defense is to reduce the interaction of people in our lives."
With the revelation that the XFL will be held without anyone in attendance, the fans reacted with a variety of responses. Some were very frustrated by the update while others made comments about "fearmongering."
damn its gonna be a weird experience and a certain virus is hurting older people let in the teens and young folk— TheFrontzClub (@TheFrontzClub) March 11, 2020
There were some fans that saw the XFL's statement and didn't exactly like the decision. They felt that completely emptying CenturyLink Field of fans was too drastic despite the rising concern over the coronavirus.
Instead of banning all fans, some users on Twitter wanted more of a half-step. They wanted some bodies in the seats just to liven up the game a bit.
OMG. The fear mongering is affecting everything. XfL has officially sold out. SMH— Beary Maverick (@BearyMaverick) March 11, 2020
Should the coronavirus be taken so seriously that it results in sporting events being played without fans in attendance? This debate has continued for some time as users on Twitter reacted to each news story.
According to some users, the media is making "too big" of a deal. They don't think that any events should be canceled, whether they are in Seattle, New York, or any other major city.
Good for you. Trying to address the health of the fans.— Nemo Park (@nemolee_exe) March 11, 2020
There was no shortage of critical comments about the XFL and the decision to hold games without fans. However, there were also several users that wanted to thank the football league for making this difficult decision.
As multiple users wrote, they were sad to hear that the fans would not be allowed at the stadium, but they understood. They would prefer to keep everyone safe and healthy instead of putting them at risk.
This is going to be so strange. It’s a shame since The Dragons have been averaging over 25 thousand fans per game. Hopefully this doesn’t extend to the other teams as well.— 2020 Hindsight (@2020_Hindsight_) March 11, 2020
Whether or not the fans feel the XFL's decision is justified, they do agree that the aura will be slightly different. They aren't used to watching sports from home instead of at the stadium and believe that the players will be similarly affected.
The game in Seattle will be particularly odd for the fans considering that this city is known for supporting the local teams. Whether it's the Seattle Seahawks, Sounders, Mariners or the Dragons, the fans show up.
The surgeon general just stated that 80% of the people that get the Coronavirus won’t need treatment. And most young people will not even know they have it. Won’t watch anymore panic is to intense— Buckey4ever (@Steve00657176) March 11, 2020
There has been an increasing number of individuals affected by the coronavirus in recent days, which has led to concern and the cancellation of several public events. The game between the Dragons and the Wildcats is the latest example, but there are several fans frustrated by the decision.
One individual referenced a statement from the surgeon general, which said that "most people (>80%) will have mild illness." This statistic was followed by the statement that "we must focus on protecting those most at-risk."
What’s the over / under on how many replies in this thread of tacky jokes saying XFL has no attendance anyways 🤦🏻♂️🤦🏻♂️. It’s an unfortunate circumstance but necessary.— D.T. (@MisterDely) March 11, 2020
There were many fans that responded to the XFL's statement by making jokes about WWE's poor ratings and how it also impacts the budding football league. Others simply said that this was a preview of the upcoming season.
While the jokes were plentiful, they were not met with overwhelming support. There were actually several users that grew irritated and hoped that the comments would be held in check.
Mic up every single player please.— Handsome Brian 🐛 (@bzraOG) March 11, 2020
Over the first half of the XFL season, the fans have grown to appreciate certain changes made to the football format. They enjoy the new kickoff rules, the removal of extra-point attempts by kickers, and the sideline interviews.
Some viewers are now hoping that the XFL will make even more changes as they prepare for a game without fans in attendance. They want more access to the players on the field in order to learn more about the game on a moment-by-moment basis.
(Photo Credit: Rod Mar/XFL via Getty Images)