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Ravens fans to return to M&T Bank Stadium

The Baltimore Ravens will this weekend become the latest NFL American football team to welcome fans back after detailing plans for M&T Bank Stadium to operate at 10% capacity for Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Ravens have received approval from Maryland Governor Hogan and Baltimore City Mayor Bernard Young to allow 3,000 fans in the stadium’s lower bowl, 800 at club level, 2,800 at upper level and 500 in the suite levels.

However, the plan the Ravens submitted to the Governor’s and Mayor’s offices in August had anticipated not opening up the upper bowl and the team has decided to stick to this plan, meaning that around 4,300 fans will be in the stands for Sunday’s game against the Steelers.

Tailgating will be prohibited and face coverings must be worn by fans at all times, except when they are actively eating or drinking in their seat. The Ravens only had 250 immediate family members of players, coaches and staff members in the stands for the team’s previous two home games against the Kansas City Chiefs and Cincinnati Bengals.

Mayor Young said in a statement: “I have reviewed the Ravens’ plan to return fans to the stadium pursuant to the Governor’s recent executive order, and I am pleased to announce we will be allowing fans at the next game. This exception takes into consideration the amount of thought and detail put into the Ravens’ protocols, as well as the size of the location and distancing possible.”

One NFL venue that is currently staging games without fans is Allegiant Stadium, the new state-of-the-art home of the Las Vegas Raiders. The stadium will be closed to Raiders fans for the entire 2020 season but supporters will be able to sample a sense of what the in-venue experience will be like through a new ‘Gameday to Go’ initiative.

The dining package will give fans the choice of a number of Allegiant Stadium menu items, which can be ordered through the Raiders app and picked up from the venue on the day of the game.

The initiative has been launched by Silver & Black Hospitality, Allegiant Stadium’s food services partner. Menu packages will include burgers, hot dogs, nachos, popcorn and other items.

While Raiders fans will not be able to attend NFL games this season, Allegiant Stadium has been given the green light to allow a limited number of spectators in for home games played by the University of Las Vegas, Nevada’s (UNLV) American football team.

UNLV Athletics’ plan to allow fans at Allegiant Stadium has been approved by the Southern Nevada Health District, as well as the state of Nevada’s department of Business & Industry.

While the Governor’s directive for gatherings at stadiums does allow for up to 10% capacity, UNLV said it will be limiting capacity to 3%, which equates to 2,000 fans.

Game attendees will be screened upon entry and will be required to wear face coverings, maintain social distancing and follow other health and safety guidelines. UNLV’s home opener is scheduled for this Saturday and the approval has been granted for the team’s first two games at Allegiant Stadium, with future games requiring separate approval.

Desiree Reed-Francois, UNLV director of athletics, said: “We appreciate the work of the Southern Nevada Health District and the state of Nevada throughout this process.

“We have been in constant communication with both entities as well as with Allegiant Stadium to interpret the guidelines with respect to specific facility capabilities. The health and safety of everyone involved, both on the field and in the stands, is our primary concern, and although attendance will be limited, we can’t wait to get our season started and look forward to next Saturday’s historic home opener in Allegiant Stadium.”

Image: BruceEmmerling