NFL Makes Big Announcement on Fans Attending Games in 2021
The NFL just made a big announcement when it comes to fans attending games and training camp [...]
The NFL just made a big announcement when it comes to fans attending games and training camp practices in 2021. According to ESPN, the league has informed teams that all but two of the franchises have received approval from state and local governments to open their stadiums to full capacity when the 2021 season begins. Additionally, teams will be permitted to host fans at training camp this summer, subject to state and local guidelines.
This comes after the 2020 season where teams either had a limited amount of fans or no fans at games during the COVID-19 pandemic. The two teams who still haven't received approval for full capacity at their stadiums are the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos, but Peter O'Reilly, the NFL's executive vice president of club business and league events, says the league "feels good about the path" for both teams as they are both working with their local contacts to receive authorization.
Back in March, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said he expected teams to have full capacity at their stadiums this season. "All of us in the NFL want to see every one of our fans back," Goodell said in a news conference after virtual owners meetings. "Football is simply not the same without fans, and we expect to have full stadiums in the upcoming season."
Training camp will start on July 27 for 29 of the 32 teams, and it's a time where fans can see the players of their favorite team gear up for the 2021 season. Three teams — the Dallas Cowboys, Pittsburgh Steelers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers — will be permitted to open earlier because they are taking part in the Hall of Fame preseason game or the Sept. 9 regular-season kickoff game (Cowboys are playing in both games).
"It won't likely look exactly the same as a normal training camp as far as proximity to players and autographs and some of the other things," O'Reilly said. "But we're excited to be able to communicate that fans will be able to enjoy an accessible part of the calendar. The Hall of Fame Game will be the first preseason game of the 2021 season and will kick off on August 5 at 8 p.m. ET. That will be followed by the first week of the preseason, which will begin on August 12.