With the start of the 2020 NFL season just around the corner, NFL teams have been updating their fans with guidelines on what to expect if they choose to attend a game. While the NFL is anticipating having fans at games this season, many teams have already placed limits on how many fans will be permitted inside their stadiums at the start of the season.
On Friday, the Jaguars joined the list of franchises that have recently issued statements to their fans updating them about their current stadium situation. In the update, the Jaguars stated that TIAA Bank Field will fill approximately 25 percent of its capacity at each home game while adding that "any future increase in capacity will depend on developments on the health and safety front." Furthermore, the wearing of masks will be required for patrons upon entering the stadium.
Additional guidelines instituted by the Jaguars include cashless payment for most exchanges, including merchandise and food purchases. Additional hand sanitizing stations will also be provided, along with "increased directional signage" to encourage fans to social distance.
All Jaguars season tickets will be returned to current season ticket holders, who will have the opportunity to apply credited funds towards the payment of tickets for this season or for the 2021 season. The team also stated that full cash refunds will also be available upon request.
Earlier this week, the Ravens announced that the capacity at M&T Bank Stadium will be set to just 14,000, which is an 81.3% cut from the stadium's normal capacity of roughly 71,000. The Chiefs and Packers have also announced that the capacity at their stadiums will be drastically reduced. On Wednesday, the Steelers announced that they are also anticipating a smaller allotted crowd at Heinz Field this season. The Steelers also stated that masks will be required at their home games.
While the NFL's plan remains to have a 17-week regular season (which a full slate of playoff games after that), the league has already reduced the preseason from four games to two. The Pro Football Hall of Fame has canceled its annual preseason game as well as its 2020 induction ceremony. This year's Hall of Fame class will also be honored with their own ceremony next summer.
NFL training camps are expected to begin later this month, as teams will begin practicing together for the first time this offseason. Due to the pandemic, the league canceled OTAs and minicamps, which means that members of the 2020 rookie class have yet to take part in an official team practice. This could be especially problematic for the Jaguars, who have a dozen drafted rookies that will compete to make the team's 53-man roster.