The Baltimore Ravens have submitted a new attendance plan for the 2020 NFL season to Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young that limits the number of fans allowed to 7,500, The Baltimore Sun's Jonas Shaffer reported.
“We continue to explore the possibly of having fans at our games this year,” a team spokesman said to the Baltimore Sun. “We will continue to work with local and state government and health officials in reviewing, and if necessary, modifying our plans.”
A decision will most likely not be made for several weeks.
M&T Bank Stadium has a capacity of 71,008, meaning just over 10% of the seats would be used in the fall amid the coronavirus pandemic. The proposed maximum figure of 7,500 essentially cuts Baltimore's July plans of having 14,000 fans in the stadium in half.
The Ravens' desire to have fans attend games comes at a time when teams across the league have taken different stances on the issue. The Washington Football team followed the likes of the New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles and others when it announced on Wednesday that it would not have any fans in the stands for the 2020 season.
“This decision was not an easy one, but after several discussions with federal, state and local officials – along with input from some of the nation’s foremost medical experts, based right here in the nation’s capital – we are confident that it is the right one,” team owner Dan Snyder said in a statement. “We are working to find ways to make our fans’ presence felt in new and innovative ways for 2020 and can’t wait to welcome the community through the gates as soon as it’s safe.”
While Snyder and Washington took that stance, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones went in the opposite direction, explaining that the team is planning on hosting fans in 2020. Jones stated that protocols would be in place to guarantee safety.
Now, the Ravens will wait to see if they will get the go-ahead to do the same. If Baltimore or any other NFL team does have fans in attendance, they'd be one of the first professional franchises in America to do so since the pandemic began, as most other sports are either operating in a bubble or without any fans. Some MLS teams are allowing fans to attend games in August.
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