The New York Giants and New York Jets have announced their games at MetLife Stadium will be held behind closed doors until further notice to meet COVID-19 regulations in the state of New Jersey.
The state’s governor, Phil Murphy, has said that, due to the ongoing public health crisis, his Executive Order limiting outdoor public gatherings to a maximum of 500 people will apply to events at MetLife Stadium.
In response the two NFL teams, which are co-tenants at MetLife Stadium, said: “This decision was reached after careful consideration of the current state of the COVID crisis, in discussions with the Giants and Jets, and in consideration of the health and safety of our fans, players and staff, which will continue to be the primary focus for our teams.
“We support Governor Murphy’s decision in the interest of public health and safety and, until circumstances change, both the Giants and Jets will play our games without the benefit of fans in attendance. Although we would prefer to have fans at MetLife Stadium for our games, we will continue to work with Governor Murphy’s office and will provide updates if necessary.”
New Jersey was initially one of the hotspots for COVID-19 in the US, although the number of cases in the state have reduced significantly in recent weeks. The Giants are due to open their 2020 regular season at MetLife Stadium against the Pittsburgh Steelers on September 14, with the Jets’ first home game, against the San Francisco 49ers, scheduled for September 20.
The New England Patriots last week became the latest NFL team to confirm how they plan to accommodate fans for the 2020 season, stating they expect to operate Gillette Stadium at 20% capacity.
Pending state and local approval, should Gillette Stadium be allowed to have fans in the stands this season, it is expected to host about 20% of its total capacity of 65,878, which equates to around 13,176.
The Baltimore Ravens earlier became the first team in the league to specify its intended attendance cap if fans are allowed at games during the 2020 season, with the Jacksonville Jaguars following suit. The Philadelphia Eagles have been informed by city leaders that they shouldn’t expect to have fans in Lincoln Financial Field this season.
The NFL last month approved a measure to restrict stadium capacities for the 2020 season to aid the safe staging of games amid COVID-19, in what was interpreted as a potential new sponsorship opportunity for teams.
According to multiple reports, the League signed off on the move that will theoretically limit player and coaching staff exposure to the virus while they’re on the sidelines by preventing teams from having fans in the first six to eight rows of seating in every stadium, including on-field suites.
Image: MetLife Stadium