TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - The Arizona Cardinals said on Friday it's working on plans to deal with the likelihood that State Farm Stadium won't be full of fans for all their games in the 2020-21 season.
In a statement to season ticket holders, the organization said it's a "very low" probability that the stadium will be at capacity.
"We are developing contingency plans for the different scenarios and potential stadium seating configurations," the team said.
The Cards didn't elaborate about what that would look like and said once the situation "comes into clearer focus," it'll let fans know about the season. The National Football League hasn't finalized a plan for fans to attend games, if at all. The owners did approve covering seats closest to the field to add more physical distance between fans and the teams. The tarps will have advertisements on them to help with revenue.
The NFL's preseason-opening game, known as the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game, was canceled on Thursday. The game, initially scheduled for Aug. 6, was supposed to be between the Dallas Cowboys and the Pittsburgh Steelers. It's the first event on the NFL calendar that has been canceled because of the coronavirus.
All the teams' facilities were closed late March but earlier this month, coaching staffs were approved to return earlier this month. The league told teams that it expects an on-time start for training camp. For the Cardinals, that means most players reporting to camp on July 28, with rookies and other select players allowed back about a week earlier. NFL executives are still talking about possibly shortening the preseason schedule but nothing has been approved.
Cardinals full statement to season ticket holders:
As the 2020 season quickly approaches, we are all very much aware that the fight against COVID-19 continues. At the Cardinals, we are committed to providing the safest possible environment for our players, staff and fans based on guidance from state and local authorities, as well as the NFL.
Based on the latest available information, the likelihood that we will be able to play all of our games in front of a full-capacity crowd is very low.
As such, we are developing contingency plans for the different scenarios and potential stadium seating configurations. When the overall situation comes into clearer focus and the details of the 2020 plan are solidified we will reach out with an update.
We hope you have a safe and healthy summer and look forward to seeing you this fall at State Farm Stadium.