Members of the media, fans, and even NFL players seem to have their doubts about the practicality of a 2020 season. However, NFL owners don’t seem to share that pessimism, at least they aren’t showing it in their actions. Some teams seem to be preparing as if the season is going to start on time, and for tens of thousands of fans to be in attendance for games, and the New England Patriots are one of those clubs.
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Dale Arnold Drops Startling Number for Projected Fans at Gillette Stadium this Season
WEEI’s Dale Arnold and the co-host of Dale and Keefe says a source recently gave him some information about the Patriots’ preparation for the upcoming season. According to the source:
Managers [at Gillette Stadium] have been told in a meeting today to prepare for the NFL season to open on time at Gillette Stadium and with fans…they are planning on 16,000 fans per game.
No matter how you look at it, the 16,000 number is pretty shocking. It’s almost impossible to imagine 16,000 people being able to safely gather in a football stadium during the pandemic. That seems like a risky deal even if the stands are partitioned and things like concession runs and bathroom visits are coordinated by section.
On the other side, it’s almost surreal to imagine a venue as big as Gillette Stadium, which is always packed, not being filled to capacity for a Patriots game. It’s all just confirmation of how out of the ordinary 2020 has been for everyone.
Others Aren’t As Optimistic
Projections on the number of games that will be played in 2020 vary depending on who you ask. WEEI’s Christian Fauria has seemingly spoken to people who cannot fathom a way the league makes it through its full 16-game regular season, playoffs, and Super Bowl.
This tweet came from OMF’s official Twitter account:
Both the New York Giants and New York Jets have already issued statements saying that no fans will be permitted at MetLife Stadium until further notice.
Preseason is Being Trimmed Steadily
The NFL owners and NFLPA are still trying to hammer out the details of an agreement that does both sides’ best in creating a safe work environment. The latest offer from the NFL is set to trim the preseason down from two games to one. Originally, the NFL has played four preseason games. An amendment to the rule has already cut the number in half, and it now seems that may be happening again soon.
With these kinds of changes happening, it’s hard to imagine having 16,000 fans in the stands in a matter of six weeks, but just like everyone else, we’ll have to wait and watch as the newest developments shape this odd year and football season.
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