Washington Football Team to host games without fans in 2020 season
By Ian Cummings
Among the sweeping changes observed by the Washington Football Team in 2020 are the procedural modifications that have precipitated from the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak.
To say it’s been an eventful offseason for the Washington Football Team would be an understatement. The burgundy and gold kicked off the “quiet” months with the firing of longtime team president Bruce Allen and the subsequent hiring of new head coach Ron Rivera, and carried on that process with the on-boarding of Rivera’s staff.
As if the uncertainty wasn’t already at historic levels, at this crucial junction in the Washington Football Team’s history, the COVID-19 outbreak festering throughout the nation has added another wrinkle. There was once debate over whether teams like Washington would even see the field at all, and now, while a season is likely, it will not look the same as years past.
Case in point: The Washington Football Team announced this morning that they will not have fans at their home games for the 2020 regular season. This update was confirmed by Washington’s official website, via the team’s public relations staff. In a corresponding article regarding the news, team owner Dan Snyder provided a statement, which can be read below:
“We are fortunate to host the best fans in the NFL year after year, but the well-being of those supporters, along with that of our players, coaches and each and every member of our gameday staff is simply too important, and the current knowledge of COVID-19 too unpredictable, to welcome our fan base to FedExField to start the season.”
“We were the first team in the league to recall our scouts and other personnel from the field back in mid-March and have been monitoring this evolving situation ever since. This decision was not an easy one, but after several discussions with federal, state and local officials – along with input from some of the nation’s foremost medical experts, based right here in the nation’s capital – we are confident that it is the right one. We are working to find ways to make our fans’ presence felt in new and innovative ways for 2020 and can’t wait to welcome the community through the gates as soon as it’s safe.”
The fan experience is a vital part of football, and there will no doubt be an adjustment to make for fans who’ve made a tradition out of watching the Washington Football Team play at FedEx Field. But Snyder appears confident that the decision was the right one to make, as it took the health and safety of players, team officials, and fans into account.
In the article, it was noted that fans will have opportunities to connect with the team virtually on a week-to-week basis over the course of the season, and financial alternatives will reportedly be provided to season-ticket holders. Additionally, there will also be staff on hand to help single-game ticket holders who have concerns.
It’s hard to tell when exactly things will be back to normal in Washington. The 2021 season could bring more clarity, but for now, it’s a team without a name, and a team without fans in the stands. With all this being said, they’ll compete nonetheless, and aim to produce in spite of uncertainty.