The Washington Football Team announced on Aug. 12 that its games at FedExField will be played without fans in attendance during the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns and for the well-being of its supporters.
The team worked closely with Maryland and Prince George’s County officials, all of whom backed the decision.
All parties will reevaluate the decision should the situation surrounding the pandemic improve throughout the season.
“We are fortunate to host the best fans in the NFL year after year, but the wellbeing 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,” said team owner Dan Snyder.
“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,” Snyder said. “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,” he said.
Washington wide receiver Terry McLaurin, who enjoyed success as a rookie last season, said that playing in a virtually empty stadium will be different.
“That’s tough. I’ve never necessarily played a game in front of no fans,” McLaurin said. “But like I said, at the end of the day, it’s what’s in the best interest of all of us.
I feel like that keeps our fans safe, that keeps us safe and our staff.
“It’s just a bummer that it has to be that way, but we appreciate the support that we get through social media, the support that we get through fan mail,” he said. “I hope our fans still feel like they can be engaged and a part of our season this year because we do need them and appreciate them. Hopefully, when the safety protocols are at the appropriate time that we can get fans back into our stadium.”
Washington has reached out to season ticket-holders to provide them with alternatives. The team said its customer service team will be prepared to answer questions from those who have purchased single-game tickets for the 2020 season and that information will be available on the tickets section of WashingtonFootball.com.
In the meantime, fans can learn more about ways to support the Washington Football Team virtually before its Week 1 matchup at home against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sept. 13 via the team’s website and social media platforms.