August 27, 2020
Philadelphia Eagles fans will not be permitted in the stands at Lincoln Financial Field to start the 2020 season, the team confirmed Thursday afternoon.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the City of Philadelphia confirmed on Thursday that hosting fans at Lincoln Financial Field will not be permitted until further notice.— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) August 27, 2020
All signs had been pointing to the 2020 season beginning without fans attending Eagles games. The majority of NFL teams will not start the year with spectators, though several organizations have specified that they plan to allow fans after the first one or two games.
Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley had said in July that he doubted the city and state would approve fans at the Linc in September. In Philadelphia, outdoor gatherings are still capped at 50 people.
When the Eagles pushed back to leave the door open for fans, they included safety provisions that would require face masks and social distancing at limited stadium capacity. The team also gave season ticket holders the choice to opt out of their 2020 commitment.
Ultimately, officials chose to hold off on spectators to start the season.
The Pittsburgh Steelers made a similar announcement on Thursday afternoon, informing fans and season ticket holders that they will take a wait-and-see approach after starting without spectators at Heinz Field.
The Eagles open the home portion of their schedule on Sept. 20 against the Los Angeles Rams. Their season opener against Washington also will be without fans at FedeEx Field in Landover. The Eagles said on Thursday that they will continue dialogue with the hopes of allowing fans at some point this season.
“We’re going to continue those dialogues and hope that we can have fans at Lincoln Financial Field.” - Eagles President Don Smolenski— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) August 27, 2020
Despite signs of strong progress against the pandemic in Philadelphia, Farley warned again Thursday about concerns that COVID-19 may prove more dangerous in the cold weather months.
The city will open up indoor dining and theaters after Labor Day, but if conditions take a turn for the worse, Philadelphia officials have said they will reintroduce tighter coronavirus restrictions.
There remains a possibility that the current trajectory will continue in a positive direction, in which case the rules on fan attendance at Eagles games could potentially be changed.
For now, however, Eagles fans should get used to watching the 2020 season from home.