There won't be any fans at Soldier Field for Bears games to begin the 2020 season, and it's anyone's guess whether there will be any at all this year. Teams around the league are setting their own attendance policy in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, but most clubs are taking the same approach as Chicago in an effort to promote social distancing as the novel coronavirus continues to wreak havoc in the United States.
In an effort to prevent an eerie silence as a result of fanless games on NFL Sundays, the league will use an innovative approach to making sure the home-viewer doesn't feel much of a difference in their viewing experience.
According to the NFL's Director of Broadcasting, Onnie Bose, the league will use sound from each stadium over the last four seasons to replicate the in-game noise.
“Texans-Colts, CBS, Lucas Oil Stadium—we’ll have authentic audio from Lucas Oil from the last four seasons to plug in," Bose told NBC Sports' Peter King.
As King pointed out, the NFL will pull crowd audio from each stadium (for example, the sound from the Lions-Packers Week 6 game last year will be used for their matchup in Week 2 this season) in an effort to feel as authentic as possible. With four seasons at their disposal and the NFL Films crew a big part of the process, there's a good chance the at-home experience will feel closer to normal than anyone could've predicted.
The 2020 NFL season is scheduled to kick off on Sept. 10 in Thursday night's opener between the Chiefs and Texans. The Bears kick off their season on Sept. 13 in Detroit.