The Washington Football Team will host its first playoff game in five years this weekend, but they’ll do it without fans in the stands.
Washington, which clinched the NFC East Sunday with a 20-14 win over the Philadelphia Eagles, announced it will keep FedEx Field closed Saturday for its wild-card matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in adherence to local coronavirus-related mandates.
“Following continued restrictions from the State of Maryland and Prince George’s County regarding limitations on gatherings due to COVID, we are not able to have fans attend our upcoming playoff game on January 9th at FedExField,” the team said in a statement. “Our entire team, especially our players, will miss having our passionate fans in the stadium as we take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. We are grateful for all of the support from our community and encourage everyone to stay safe.”
The team allowed fans inside the stadium in Landover, Md., just once this season, when the New York Giants came to town on Nov. 8. However, attendance was capped at 3,000 and the franchise shortly thereafter decided to again close the stadium to fans for the rest of the regular season as coronavirus cases spiked in the region.
As of Tuesday, Prince George’s County has reported more than 56,000 coronavirus cases and 1,067 virus-related deaths since the start of the pandemic, according to county statistics.