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What should the NFL do if some states allow fans and others don’t?

The staff at WCG has been talking about some COVID-19 related topics in regards to the NFL, so we wanted to share some of what we think with you guys in this next series of round table questions.

NFL: AFC Divisional-Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve seen some states hit harder by the coronovirus, so it’s possible that not every state will have the same guidelines moving forward in regards to holding sporting events. So what if certain states allow fans to attend games while others don’t?

In this recent round table discussion, we asked our staff a few questions pertaining to the NFL season in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. Yesterday it was, do we think the NFL will play a full 2020 schedule, and here’s how today’s question was posed to our writers.

If some jurisdictions allow fans at football stadiums while others do not, do you think the NFL should open up those stadiums where fans are allowed even if it provides a competitive advantage over teams that get no home crowds.

Ken Mitchell - It doesn’t matter whether I approve or not, if some teams can fill their stands there’s too much money involved in not filling those stands up. I think the league cares less about competitive balance this year than it does recouping lost potential revenue.

Jeff Berckes - I don’t see it as that great of a competitive advantage. I think what the NFL is most concerned about is financial health and player health (and probably in that order). I assume they’ll punt that decision and follow what the state is prescribing.

Bill Zimmerman - I know money talks and 20% capacity in stadiums is better than none, but there’s zero reason to have fans in the stands. 20% fans or 50% fans even isn’t going to be some huge competitive advantage for the home team. Keep the fans home, keep everyone as safe as possible.

Robert Zeglinski - I do not think stadiums should allow a segment of fans on an individual basis. Either everyone is allowed a certain percentage, or no one is. That strikes me as an unfair and unearned advantage which the players or coaches affected, and fans who can normally purchase tickets, can do nothing about. Though, states like Florida, Arizona, and perhaps even New York, among others, deserve no consideration for any fans if a plan like this was to be implemented.

Erik Christopher Duerrwaechter - I truly believe in an “all or nothing” philosophy. If one stadium can have fans, then every stadium should have fans. Likewise, if one stadium cannot have fans, then none of the stadiums should host fans. It would be incredibly unfair for any franchise, especially their fans, if they are residing in states that forbid fans from the stadiums while other states lift those restrictions. It’s just not good for business, either.

Sam Householder - Yes, I don’t think that they should but I think that they will. Home field advantage be damned, the NFL loves money over everything else and they need fans in the stands to make more of it. If they have to take losses, they have to make those losses as little as possible, so that means allowing any number of fans they can when it’s allowed.

Jacob Infante - If drastic measures are taken to ensure social distancing, then sure, I can maybe see a situation where the NFL would allow fans. Truth be told, I believe that NFL teams should conform to state government policies because the government is surely doing more research on the pandemic than a football team would. If that means some teams have fans while some teams don’t - as unfair as that may be - then so be it.

Lester A. Wiltfong Jr. - If some states allow games, but no fans, then I suspect the NFL will go with no fans at all in any stadiums. The loss in revenue would hurt, but much like they plan to sell banner space in the first few rows of 2020 games, they’ll just increase that to go further up the stadium.

Editor’s note: The COVID-19 pandemic is a subject that requires sensitivity and care. Many families and people have already been impacted by this crisis as it unfolds. This is a reminder to please express yourself respectfully while also exercising common courtesy in interactions with one another in the comments. All WCG commentary guidelines remain in effect and apply especially. Stay safe and healthy, everyone.


If some states don’t allow fans to go to games, should the NFL ban all fans from all games?

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151 votes total Vote Now

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