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Broncos to have limited fans in stands for Week 3

The Denver Broncos are working with the State of Colorado to get approval for fans in the stands by Week 3.

NFL: Detroit Lions at Denver Broncos Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Getting fans in the stadium is a big hope for the NFL in 2020. Not only will it help the atmosphere in games, but it also helps the bottom line for teams. They key is finding a balance that doesn’t worsen the COVID-19 pandemic.

Matt Mauro of KDVR reported on Sunday that the team and state officials are working to find a solution that allows fans in the stadium and keeps people safe. The report said there would be fans in the stadium for Week 3 for the Broncos matchup against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Broncos were hoping for 15,000 fans to be permitted, but 9News is reporting that those estimates are “too high”. We know the Kansas City Chiefs will have over 20,000 fans in Week 1, but different states have different COVID-19 responses.

Gov. Jared Polis has been well-versed for weeks in the Broncos safety plan at the stadium. Brittany Bowlen, who is chairing the Broncos’ COVID task force, submitted an extensive stadium safety plan to the governor’s office a few weeks ago. According to a source, members of Polis’ office toured the stadium recently with Bowlen and Bronco officials.

It will be strange to watch games without fans and there is some concerns that the no fans thing will remove competitive advantages for those home teams. President of Football Operations / General Manager John Elway was asked about this issue on Sunday.

“I think with the number that we’re talking about that can get into football games, I don’t think it’s a big difference. If you’re talking about 20,000 people getting into a—you use our stadium for example. If you put 20,000 people in our stadium, I don’t think that makes a difference. I think it’s too big and it’s too cavernous, and so therefore with the numbers that—when Commissioner [Roger] Goodell says that it’s really a level playing field, I agree with him because I don’t think the amount of people that they’re talking about in stadiums will make a difference. Obviously, you get to three quarters, half to three quarters or even more so full, then you have a chance to make a difference. But the numbers that we’re talking about that they’re getting into the games now, the 10-, 12-, 15,000 people to me will not make a difference when it comes down to the level playing field.”

So even if a few fans are admitted, Elway doesn’t think that will provide any sort of homefield advantage for teams. They would need to come more to full capacity for that to happen.

In any case, having fans in attendance is a step in a good direction if it turns out to be truly safe to do so.

Poll

How many fans should Broncos have for their Week 3 game?

This poll is closed

  • 17%
    None, its not safe.
    (143 votes)
  • 23%
    Less than 15,000
    (188 votes)
  • 31%
    More than 15,000
    (254 votes)
  • 27%
    Full capacity
    (222 votes)
807 votes total Vote Now