The chairman of the Chicago Bears is confident that Soldier Field could host fans later on this season.
The 2020 NFL season has finally arrived, but it won’t have the same pomp and circumstance like we’ve seen in years past. That’s all due to the ongoing presence of the coronavirus in the United States. Given the need for social distancing, many teams have heeded the advice of local government and public health officials and opted against having fans attend games. One of the teams that won’t have fans at the start of the season are the Chicago Bears, but they are expressing optimism that that can change later in the near future.
While speaking with the local media on Thursday, Bears chairman George McCasky said he’s “very optimistic” that fans can be allowed to enter Soldier Field soon and that the team has created a plan to send to the city of Chicago. However, McCaskey stressed that he won’t be pushing for fans to return too quickly, because safety is their number one priority.
“We’re not gonna push for fans. We’re gonna continue to work cooperatively with the city,” McCaskey said, via 247Sports. “And when the Bears and the city are comfortable that it’s safe and appropriate to have spectators at Soldier Field, that’s when we’re gonna do it.”
Unset timeline for fans return to Soldier Field
Back in August, the Bears announced via their official website that after consulting with the city of Chicago, that having fans at home games with COVID-19 spreading wasn’t feasible. The team also announced that Chicago will continue to monitor the situation and would welcome fans once they come up with a plan that they deem will ensure safety for all.
There will only be two NFL teams that will allow a low percentage of fans inside their stadiums, and they are the Kansas City Chiefs and Jacksonville Jaguars. But according to Yahoo Sports, both teams are struggling to sell tickets and prices are falling.
The Bears will hit the road this weekend to face the rival Detroit Lions in Week 1 inside an empty Ford Field. Chicago opens up Soldier Field in Week 2, when they host the New York Giants. For the teams without fans, they will use pre-recorded sound noise, like the MLB, NBA and NHL are currently using.
Expect NFL teams like the Bears to see how the Chiefs and Jaguars do this weekend with fans before making final decisions on their own attendance policies.