New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy raised the limit on crowd size for outdoor gatherings from 250 people up to 500 earlier this month. However, that number isn’t expected to see another bump anytime soon amid the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It’s now been noted that limit will also apply for both the New York Giants and New York Jets, as the two teams have come together to release a joint statement announcing they will play 2020 “without the benefit of fans in attendance.”
Today Governor Murphy announced that, due to the ongoing public health crisis, his Executive Order limiting outdoor public gatherings will apply to events at MetLife Stadium until further notice. This decision was reached after careful consideration of the current state of the COVID-19 crisis, in discussions with the Giants and Jets, and in consideration of the health and safety of our fans, players and staff, which will continue to be the primary focus for our teams.
We support Governor Murphy’s decision in the interest of public health and safety and, until circumstances change, both the Giants and Jets will play our games without the benefit of fans in attendance. Although we would prefer to have fans at MetLife Stadium for our games, we will continue to work with Governor Murphy’s office and will provide updates if necessary.
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Practices, Camp Not Open to Public
The two teams also added that “out of an abundance of caution” practices and training camps, the latter of which is set to kickoff on July 28th, will not be open to the public. The teams also urged fans to “continue to take the necessary precautions recommended by health officials to stay safe” as they “look forward to seeing you at MetLife Stadium as soon as possible.”
Speaking of training camp, Big Blue is planning on using MetLife stadium as their “primary hub for football operations” during this year’s camp as a way “to satisfy COVID-19 parameters,” per NorthJersey.com’s Art Stapleton.
The team will still use the practice fields at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center, as in years past, since their training facility is located on the outskirts of the MetLife parking lot. But with regard to locker room and meeting space, the Giants will take advantage of the stadium, likely using their traditional game day locker room in addition to those spaces used for visiting teams.
Giants Players Voice Their Concerns
Numerous Giants have voiced their displeasure with the NFL’s current handling of the pandemic. Star running back Saquon Barkley joined in the trending Twitter hashtag #WeWantToPlay on Sunday, where players from around the league noted their urge to play football this season, with the contingency that the league takes greater parameters in keeping them safe.
No Giants player has been more vocal on the situation than Big Blue’s NFLPA representative Nate Solder, claiming that “if the NFL doesn’t do their part to keep players healthy there is no football in 2020.”