Fans required to wear masks. Photo via CBS Sports

NFL will require face coverings to attend games this season

The NFL is preparing to begin the 2020 season with several teams reporting for training camp this week. This is the first time that organizations will get to hit the field and install schemes prior to the regular season.

In May, the NFL put together protocols for a safe return to team facilities. Those included daily screening for a period of time and safe social distancing. Now, the NFL is entertaining the idea of letting fans be in attendance for regular-season games.

According to ESPN insider Adam Schefter, via NFL league office PR representative Brian McCarthy, the NFL will require fans to wear face coverings.

The news opens the door for the possibility of league-wide fan attendance. However, the decision will be dependent on several factors.

Several states have already voiced their concerns. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has stated that there will be no fans at MetLife Stadium where the New York Giants and New York Jets share a stadium.

“My Administration has been working in close coordination with professional sports and college teams to determine how to proceed safely with games at their stadiums amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” Murphy said in a statement obtained by NJ Advance Media. “While we look forward to the day we can return to games as normal and cheer from the stands, continued concerns for the health and safety of fans, team members, and staff dictate that our executive order limiting outdoor gatherings does apply to sporting events, including training camp.

“We will continue to closely monitor the public health reality and work with health experts to determine how to move forward, and we will continue to work closely with the teams as conditions change. Like all fans across New Jersey, I look forward to watching our teams play from home and plan to be there in person to support the teams when it is safe to do so.”

The Los Angeles Rams also announced a similar stance. SoFi Stadium, which is slated to open this season, will potentially limit or have no fans this season.

The Rams sent out a letter to season-ticket holders that their tickets will be deferred to the 2021 season. Should fans be in attendance, it will be on a priority basis given the limited number of tickets available.

In Dallas, the Cowboys will attempt to get fans in the stands. In a recent report, the organization is slated to lose more than $600 million if fans cannot attend games this season.

“It will be a very significant amount of money, and in the Cowboys’ case, you’ll be looking at potentially multiple hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue losses,” Marc Ganis, president of SportsCorp LTD said, according to The Dallas Morning News. “That’s going to impact anybody.”

The NFL will potentially make a decision on the season in the near future. It will go a long way in deciding if fans will be allowed in stadiums.

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