There’s a very real possibility that CenturyLink Field could be half-empty or vacant when the NFL begins the 2020 season.
After NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sent a memo to all 32 NFL teams requiring them to reimburse any ticket sales if fans are unable to attend games, several NFL teams have motioned to allow season ticket holders the option to opt out of attendance.
All clubs will have in place a policy under which, if a game is canceled, or is played under conditions that prohibit fans from attending, anyone purchasing a ticket directly from the club (i.e., season tickets, group sales and/or partial season plans) will have the option of either receiving a full refund or applying the amount paid toward a future ticket purchase directly from the club.
Over the weekend, the Titans sent a letter to season ticket holders giving them an option to apply existing payments for this season toward next year or receive a refund for any money that’s already been paid. All remaining installments on payment plans have also been suspended as of July 1.
With a possibility that games will won’t happen at Lambeau Field this year, Green Bay Packers season ticket holders can choose to “opt-in” or “opt-out.” For those who choose to opt out, their 2020 payment can be refunded in full or credited to 2021.
The Houston Texans also provided their season ticket holders with a number of options. In short, Texans fans can keep their seats, defer the cost of their tickets to 2021, or get a refund for payments that have already been made in 2020 with payments resuming in 2021.
Back in April, the Seahawks said they would work with season ticket holders individually to accommodate those who need personalized payment plans, including deferment. However, no updates have been released since.
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What we do know is that the Seahawks are working toward reducing their stadium capacity to fulfill the state’s social distancing requirements. Depending on how coronavirus concerns play out in the state, the stadium could be at half capacity with empty rows and vacant seats. Someone would ultimately have to decide which season ticket holders can attend certain games.
As for the team, they’ll have to also adjust to the potential of playing in front of empty seats or half-full stadiums rather than the roaring 12s.
“Everybody needs to be wide open and ready to adapt and all of that and all aspects of our lives right now, and certainly as we approach the season,” Pete Carroll said earlier this spring. “We are going to have to be prepared. There’s still a great opportunity to show the game to our fans through media resources. But if that’s the way it is, it will be a different experience.”