Pro football’s kickoff is set for Sept. 10, but nothing is certain as the coronavirus continues its deadly spread.
NFL fans attending games — assuming there’s a 2020 season and spectators are allowed inside stadiums — will have to wear facial coverings, the league said Wednesday.
Former Miami Dolphins player Nat Moore wears a mask while taking a photo of guests at a tribute procession for coach Don Shula in Miami Gardens, Fla
Brian McCarthy, the NFL’s vice president of communications, tweeted a photo of himself wearing a mask and telling fans this would be necessary equipment at any pro football games this fall and early winter.
“For those wondering, yes, it is league-wide: fans at NFL games this season will be required to wear face coverings,” he said.
Local governments would still have the last word on games and fans.
“Decisions on the number of fans at stadiums will be determined on a market-by-market basis with guidance from public health experts and in accordance with local and state guidelines,” McCarthy said in a statement to NBC News.
“There’s no one set figure that will work across all teams which are located in various states. The league is working closely with each of the clubs to ensure their plans are in compliance.”
For example, the New York Giants and Jets — two teams that play in East Rutherford, New Jersey — have already told fans that their home 2020 schedule will begin with no fans inside MetLife Stadium, citing orders from Gov. Phil Murphy.
The first regular-season game is supposed to be on Sept. 10, between the Houston Texans and the Super Bowl-champion Kansas City Chiefs.