The Washington Football Team will be playing games without fans this season. On Wednesday, the team announced their games at FedEx Field will be played with no fans in attendance due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The team's first home game is on Sept. 13 when they face the Philadelphia Eagles.
"We are fortunate to host the best fans in the NFL year after year, but the well-being of those supporters, along with that of our players, coaches and each and every member of our gameday staff is simply too important, and the current knowledge of COVID-19 too unpredictable, to welcome our fan base to FedExField to start the season," Washington Team owner Dan Snyder said in a press release. Snyder also said Washington was the "first team in the league to recall our scouts and other personnel from the field back in mid-March and have been monitoring this evolving situation ever since." He also noted the decision the team made "was not an easy one," but after talking to different officials on the local, state and federal level, Washington is "confident that it is the right one." Snyder ended the statement by saying the team is working on different ways to "make our fans' presence felt in new and innovative ways for 2020 and can't wait to welcome the community through the gates as soon as it's safe."
Washington will re-evaluate the situation of fans attending games if the pandemic improves during the season. Ultimately, this means fans will not be able to see the team's new uniforms up close and personal, at least for the start of 2020. Because Washington retired the "Redskins" name and logo, the team made changes to their uniforms. The move is only temporary until the team comes up with a permanent nickname.
Washington is one of the few teams that have announced their plans for the 2020 season in terms of fans. The Green Bay Packers are not allowing fans to attend the first two games at Lambeau Field, while the Atlanta Falcons are planning to have limited fans (20,000) for each game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Dallas Cowboys are another team looking to play home games in front of fans, but the Las Vegas Raiders opted not to have fans for their games at the brand new Allegiant Stadium.