On Monday the Ravens announced that, at least for the initial part of the season, there won’t be any fans at M&T Bank Stadium.
The Ravens’ home opener is against the Browns on Sept. 13, then they play the Chiefs on Monday Night Football in Week 3, on Sept. 28. It’s unclear how long there won’t be fans in the stands, but for now, it’s likely the entire first month of the season will be played in Baltimore without fans.
“I’m more bummed out for the fans themselves,” defensive lineman Derek Wolfe said. “Who knows, maybe a couple games in we might be able to start letting some fans in. Maybe by the end of the season, we’ve got a full packed stadium. I feel more bad for the fans that I do for myself. I’m out there to do a job and whether people are screaming or yelling for me or not, I’m gonna do that job.”
Cornerback Tavon Young added that, while it will be an adjustment to not having fans, they’re still going to be focused on the game itself.
In order to help with the change, the Ravens practiced last Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium, and will do so again at least two more times before the regular season kicks off.
“The stadium practices are good in that sense, because we get a feel for an unusual situation which is playing a game without fans,” coach John Harbaugh said. “As far as one stadium to the next, I think it will be pretty similar for the most part.”
The league has added some rules about artificial crowd noise as it relates to home games for each team, but the Ravens aren’t concerned about that just yet.
“It’s a certain decibel level, it has to be kept at that level as background sound the whole game,” Harbaugh said. “That’s what my understanding of it is. Beyond that, you have the ability to put music up until 15 seconds before the play clock. It’s not the biggest deal in the world, I’m not worried about it in any way. I don’t think it’s going to matter. I think playing well and playing winning football is what really matters.”