MetLife Stadium will be empty in 2020.
As the NFL seeks to find a way to cram as many people into the stands as possible when the season starts, the New York Giants and New York Jets are emphasizing safety over spectacle, as their 2020 home games will be closed to the public due to the COVID-19 virus.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, in an executive order made in conjunction with the Jets and Giants, confirmed that the statewide limit of 500 people at outdoor gatherings applies to the NFL as well. Because of this decision, the Jets and Giants will play without fans in the stands, albeit with piped-in crowd noise. This decision also stands for all Rutgers football home games, per Brett McMurphy.
The Giants and Jets will play in an empty MetLife Stadium.
“While we look forward to the day we can return to games as normal and cheer from the stands, continued concerns for the health and safety of fans, team members and staff dictate that our executive order limiting outdoor gatherings does apply to sporting events,” Murphy said in a statement, per NJ.com.
The Jets and the Giants released a joint statement confirming that the stands at MetLife will be empty in 2020. Practices and training camp will also be closed to the public. Both teams urged fans to “take the necessary precautions” in order to help get fans back in the stands as soon as possible.
Murphy is emphasizing the safety of his citizens over the need to get fans in the stands for 16 NFL games. While some fans are going to be understandably peeved by this decision, this is without a doubt the right move to prevent the virus spreading.