JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As the start of the NFL season approaches, more and more teams are making decisions about how many fans will be allowed in the stands for games. That will include the Jaguars’ first road game of the season against the Titans where no fans will be allowed, according to reports.
The Jaguars announced last month that they would limit capacity in their own games to 25 percent of the stadium’s capacity. But today, we learned that when the Jaguars go on the road for the first time, they’ll be in an empty stadium.
The Jaguars’ rivalries with the Tennessee Titans have been some of the most heated in franchise history. But during their Week 2 game in Nashville, the Jaguars won’t have to overcome the Titans fans. ESPN’s Adam Schefter was first to report that the Titans have decided that for at least that game—and maybe more, there will be no fans in games in Nashville, which means less for the Jaguars offense to worry about.
Titans’ home opener against the Jaguars on Sept. 20 will be held without fans due to the COVID-19 pandemic.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 18, 2020
“It’s going to make the game-day experience not as lavish, not as grand,” Jaguars’ tight end James O’Shaughnessy said. “And the game-day feeling is a special feeling, it’s what you work every day, week, after week, month after month, to get to that game to showcase what you can, in front of all these 80, 70 thousand fans in person, millions of fans on the TV. But at the end of the day, it doesn’t change our job. We still have to come in and win”
“As far as the actual people in the stands, other than the crowd noise, you don’t really notice it, everybody kind of blends together,” Jaguars’ tight end Tyler Eifert said. “But it does suck for the fans, that they’re not going to be able to come to the games because when you do look up in the stands it seems like they’re having a good time, most of the time. But for me personally, it just has to do with the crowd noise and it’s actually a kind of a benefit for the offense.”
Not all NFL teams have made decisions on seating capacities, but some have, and their approaches can be broken into one of four categories.
- Some teams are opting for limited capacities. The Jaguars are going with 25 percent of the full capacity, the Chiefs announced today they will have about 22 percent of the stadium filled. The Ravens, about 20 percent. The Falcons between seven and 14 percent for the time being.
- Several teams like the Green Bay Packers and New England Patriots will have no fans allowed during the first month of the season.
- A growing number of teams are not allowing any fans, including Washington, the Las Vegas Raiders have said that fans won’t be allowed at any game this year.
- The New York Giants and Jets will not allow fans to attend until further notice, while the Arizona Cardinals are not selling season tickets and say they will only sell individual game tickets when it’s safe for fans to attend home games.
Remember, the NFL has already said that masks will be required at all games. And as we have been reminded time and time again—this is a fluid situation that could change as the situation in each city changes.