Sept. 13 (UPI) — The NFL season opened Sunday at stadiums throughout the United States mainly without fans because of coronavirus.
Of the 13 games Sunday, only one included spectators, the Indianapolis Colts at the Jacksonville Jaguars with roughly 25 percent capacity and face coverings required at the 67,164 capacity TIAA Bank Field. The game was one of nine in the 1 p.m. EDT slot.
Only five of the league’s 32 teams have said they will allow fans at the stadiums, by their own choice or in compliance with government regulations.
Attempted have been made to minimize the look and sound of the empty stadiums on television
NFL Films provided the networks a customized track of crown noise for each team, creating five levels of intensity to match events during a game.
The first few rows around the perimeter of every stadium have been tarped. Some teams inserted cardboard cutouts in seats And the league is providing a “fan mosaic,” a live feed of team-specific fans.
CBS, besides the game in Jacksonville, broadcast at 1 p.m. Buffalo Bills at New York Jets; Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens; Las Vegas Raiders at Carolina Panthers; and Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots.
The San Francisco 49ers will host the Arizona Cardinals at 4:25 p.m. EDT Sunday on Fox. Tom Brady and Drew Brees should have one of the most-watched matchups when they square off at 4:25 p.m. EDT Sunday in New Orleans. The New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers game will air on Fox.
The Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans launched the 2020 NFL season Thursday with the host Chief defeating the Texans, 34-20, in a game televised by NBC. Only 17,000 fans were allowed at Arrowhead Stadium.