The wait is finally over as the NFL is back, but there will be changes from years past. Many professional sports teams have returned and opted for no fans or spectators of any kind but that will not be true for the NFL opener.
The Kansas City Chiefs announced that it would allow a limited number of fans to enjoy the first game of the season with strict Covid-19 protocols. The stands will only hold 22 percent (15,000-16,000) of the stadium’s 76,000 seats, which will produce much less crowd noise and a ghost town look to the usually packed stands.
There will be no cheerleaders, mascots, or sideline reporters allowed on the field. Reporters will have to use the stadium concourse for their pieces.
On the field, you may notice there is a player or two missing that you would normally see on your favorite team. This is due to having more than 60 players opting out of playing at this time to keep themselves and their families safe from the virus.
Social justice will also be acknowledged on the field. Commissioner Roger Goodell announced in early September that the league has planned a series of social justice initiatives, including helmet decals, a voter activation push and phrases stenciled in the end zones. The phrases will include “It Takes All of Us” and “End Racism” and will be in each end zone of each game all season long.
During the first week of this year’s NFL season, only the Jaguars and Chiefs had fans in the arena and we’re not sure if other teams are going to allow fans in the stadiums moving on. The stadiums used crowd noise as if fans were there but there’s no home field advantage because fans make an impact towards the game.