The Dallas Cowboys pulled in a crowd of 21,708 to AT&T Stadium yesterday (Sunday), its smallest attendance for a Dallas regular season home game in 57 years but the biggest attendance to date in the 2020 NFL campaign as teams continue to grapple with returning fans to stadia amid COVID-19.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has been adamant that fans would be in place during the team’s 2020 season, and the franchise has been aided in this task with the State of Texas currently in the third phase of reopening its economy, permitting outdoor stadia to host events at 50% of total capacity.
The Cowboys last month confirmed it would introduce a ‘pod’ seating concept to AT&T Stadium as part of efforts to ensure fans can attend games. The Cowboys published a Safe Stadium Policy after Jones maintained the organisation was still determined to welcome fans to AT&T Stadium, stating the NFL can act as an example for COVID-19 response.
Leading up to Sunday’s dramatic 40-39 win over the Atlanta Falcons, Jones had been coy over the expected attendance at a stadium that averaged 90,929 for home games last season. On Friday, he told the K&C Masterpiece Show on 105.3 The Fan (KRLD-FM): “I love our plan for safety for the stadium.
“The stadium has an enormous amount of space in it, three million square feet of air conditioned space; great air flow, great current, air current. We didn’t know that we’d be giving it this kind of emphasis when the stadium was built, but we’re going to have a very safe plan of entry.”
Week 1 of the 2020 season saw only two games have fans in attendance, with 15,895 at Kansas City Chiefs’ Arrowhead Stadium and 14,100 at Jacksonville Jaguars’ TIAA Bank Field. For Week 2, the Cowboys were joined by the Miami Dolphins, who had 11,075 fans attend Hard Rock Stadium; the Cleveland Browns, who admitted around 6,000 to FirstEnergy Stadium; and the Indianapolis Colts, which had 2,500 fans at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Week 2 concludes tonight as the Las Vegas Raiders play their first game at Allegiant Stadium. However, it was decided last month that the new 65,000-seat stadium will be closed to Raiders fans for the entire 2020 season amid ongoing restrictions caused by the pandemic.
Image: Dallas Cowboys