The New York Jets and New York Giants will play home games without fans in attendance during the 2020 NFL season, both teams announced on Monday. Their joint decision came after New Jersey Governor Murphy told both teams that the state's limit of 500 people at outdoor gatherings includes professional sporting events.
MetLife Stadium, located in East Rutherford, N.J., is the home of both teams. As it stands right now, will see empty stands for each team's eight regular season home games:
Governor Murphy cited the ongoing concern for the general public's health as the reason to shut fans off from live games:
"While we look forward to the day we can return to games as normal and cheer from the stands, continued concerns for the health and safety of fans, team members, and staff dictate that our executive order limiting outdoor gatherings does apply to sporting events, including training camp," he said, according to NJ Advanced Media.
Murphy did note that fans may be allowed back in the stadium "when it is safe to do so."
"We will continue to closely monitor the public health reality and work with health experts to determine how to move forward, and we will continue to work closely with the teams as conditions change," he said. "Like all fans across New Jersey, I look forward to watching our teams play from home and plan to be there in person to support the teams when it is safe to do so."
Training camp is set to begin this week, and those sessions will also be closed to the public.
Right now, the NFL is pushing for the regular season to start on time, potentially without preseason games. However, players are speaking out against some changes the league wants to make and are becoming frustrated with the lack of a concrete health and safety plan.