The Seattle Seahawks will have no fans at CenturyLink for the start of the 2020 season.
Even as the entire world is navigating through the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 NFL season is scheduled to begin on time. The positivity rate in the league is pretty low and there are nine individuals who are currently on the league’s COVID-19 list as of this writing. But when it comes to fans in attendance, commissioner Roger Goodell has placed that responsibility of the teams themselves, with the help of local government and public health officials.
For the Seattle Seahawks, the team announced on Wednesday that they won’t have fans in attendance for at least their first three home games at CenturyLink Field.
“After careful consideration, we have made the difficult determination to play at least our first three home games (Sept. 20, Sept. 27 and Oct. 11) without fans in attendance,” the Seahawks said in a statement, via the team’s official website. “While CenturyLink Field has become the best home field advantage in the league thanks to the energy and passion of the 12s, the health and safety of all of our fans, players and staff remains our top priority. While we are hopeful that conditions will improve as the season moves forward, we will continue to follow the lead of public health and government officials to make future decisions about having fans in attendance.”
Seahawks fan-less in Seattle
Seattle’s first three home games at CenturyLink Field were going to be bona fide sellouts in a normal year. The coronavirus had other plans, however. The Seahawks were set to host the New England Patriots in Week 2, the Dallas Cowboys in Week 3 and the Minnesota Vikings in Week 5. If we follow this current guideline, the Seahawks would host their first game with some fans in attendance would come in Week 8 against the rival San Francisco 49ers on Nov.1.
Additionally, the Seahawks won’t play with fans in attendance for four of their first five games of the season. The Seahawks are set to open up their season on the road against the Atlanta Falcons, who announced on Monday that they won’t have fans in Mercedes Benz Stadium for their first two home games. Meanwhile, Seattle’s Week 4 opponent, the Miami Dolphins, have yet to make an announcement regarding their plans for Hard Rock Stadium in 2020.
The Seahawks are expected to reach out to season ticket-holders later on in the season if the conditions in Seattle, and the country as a whole, improve. The Seahawks will follow the orders of government and health officials before coming up with an attendance plan for 2020.
With COVID-19 still spreading, many teams don’t want to take the chance on potentially creating an outbreak inside their stadiums. You can’t blame the Seahawks for taking the safe, wait-and-see approach.