Even though NFL teams are now technically in training camp—at least the Covid-19 testing phase of training camp—there are still a lot of questions that remain to be answered before we get to the start of the 2020 regular season in September.
From a financial perspective, one of the biggest questions that continues to hang over the season is whether or not any team will be permitted by local governmental regulations to invite fans to attend their games. By this point almost every team has made some sort of precautionary preparations. Some teams have already been told that they will not be permitted to host teams, such as the Jets and Giants.
The Cleveland Browns are among the many teams who continue to hang in a state of limbo, not knowing either whether they will physically be able to or will have permission to admit fans to attend their games this season. Earlier this month, the Ohio governor said it remains unclear whether or not this will be an option in September. The Cincinnati Bengals, of course, also play in his state.
On Tuesday, a team spokesman told Cleveland.com that the Browns still want to be able to host fans this year, but described the situation as “fluid”. He said that the organization “understands the importance of creating a safe environment for everyone in the stadium, and we must still present a plan to local, state and medical officials”.
In other words, the Browns themselves still have a role to play in this equation, in that they have to convince the government that they have an effective plan in place that would allow them to safely and appropriately host fans. No doubt every other team in a similar situation is facing the same issue.
Earlier this month, the NFL already made it clear that if any team is permitted to host fans in their stadium this season, all fans in attendance will be required by mandate to wear a mask while they are in attendance.
“The club has been and will remain in regular communication with state and local authorities, health departments and other medical experts, as well as the NFL and industry-leading consultants, and is committed to following their guidance for operations this season”, a team statement read. “The Browns will share more information with its season ticket members, and all fans, as it becomes available”.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are in the same boat. They have not ruled out hosting fans, nor has the local government done so, so it remains to be seen if there is anybody in the stands to cheer when Renegade is played.