NFL Season Starts with Limited Spectators

The NFL Season kicks off on Thursday, September 10, at 8:20 pm with the Houston Texans at Kansas City Chiefs. The game will be broadcast from Arrowhead Field in Kansas City, Missouri, where fans watching from home may not notice much difference from pre-pandemic games.  

Most pro sports franchises who have returned to their games during the pandemic have opted not to have any spectators in the stands. The Kansas City Super Bowl champs; however, have chosen to allow a limited number of fans at their opener with strict COVID-19 guidelines in place.  

The stadium, which has a 76,000-seat capacity, will be limited to just 22% spectator occupancy. Other changes to the norm include no sideline reporters, no cheerleaders and no team mascots. Any journalists wishing to report on the game will be required to observe from the stadium concourse. 

Not all players are returning to the NFL this year. Over 60 have chosen to sit this season out in favor of keeping their families and themselves protected from the risk of the coronavirus. The Chiefs defensive lineman, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, who is also a practicing medical doctor, will be among the players absent this season.