Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy confirms that the team will host fans for their home opener.
The first week of the 2020 NFL season has come and gone, and the main sticking point was the lack of a crowd. That of course happened for good reason, as the United States is still dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, with no end in sight. Out of the 16 teams that hosted games this past week, only two actually allowed a limited number of fans: the Kansas City Chiefs and Jacksonville Jaguars. Entering Week 2, we can confirm one team that will allow fans inside their stadium.
While speaking with reporters on Wednesday, Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy revealed that the Cowboys will allow fans inside AT&T Stadium for their home opener against the Atlanta Falcons, but at a 25-percent capacity.
No specific stadium protocol details have been confirmed
It’s important to note that this news comes from the mouth of McCarthy. On Tuesday, team owner Jerry Jones didn’t provide any specific details about the stadium protocol, saying that they will “play it by ear.” Jones hinted back in August that the team was considering a pod system, which will allow fans to sit with family and friends at games, where they’ll be socially distanced from others in attendance.
Jones said they won’t announce a specific attendance number until the day of the game. So if that is the case, we’re getting an answer on Sunday.
AT&T Stadium lists their capacity at 80,000 seats, which means that if we are to follow McCarthy’s comments, then a maximum of 20,000 fans will be allowed to attend the Cowboys’ home opener. The Jaguars capped off their capacity at 25-percent for their home opener against the Indianapolis Colts, while the Chiefs allowed 22-percent for the NFL’s Kickoff Game against the Houston Texans.
Having fans in attendance during a global pandemic is a tall task for any team who opts to do so. Considering how far and quickly COVID-19 can spread, stadiums need to have specific protocols in place to ensure that social distancing is enforced and that those in attendance wear their masks at all times. In fact, teams are working with local government and public health officials to hatch out a plan that will allow fans to attend safely.
The Cowboys have opted to play it coy, so we won’t know the protocol until we see it in action on Sunday afternoon.