There is no denying that we are living in extraordinary times here in 2020. The impact from Covid-19 is still being felt throughout our country and all over the world, and in about a month it will be impacting the NFL regular season.
Different sports have handled the coronavirus in different ways. Generally most leagues that have resumed play have done so without fans. Obviously fans are a big part of sports and so much of what make the game day environment a great one. However, social distancing protocols make the notion of what we know to be normal something very difficult to accomplish in a safe way.
Jerry Jones noted during Wednesday’s state of the Dallas Cowboys address that he wants to play this season in front of fans. AT&T Stadium is obviously a large venue and it is theoretically possible to have some people in attendance, but the logistics of that are very difficult to imagine.
The Cowboys are instituting several Covid-19 protocols for AT&T Stadium
If football is indeed going to be played in front of fans this season there are obviously going to need to be a lot of things that are dramatically different than we’ve ever seen. If you watched the premiere episode of this season’s Hard Knocks you saw a lot of what players are having to deal with themselves. Attending an NFL game will require meeting a lot of standards.
Changes being made this year for Cowboys games at AT&T Stadium: pic.twitter.com/XaZI3Cfzf9— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) August 13, 2020
Obviously the normal number of fans will not be able to attend your average Cowboys home game, and this protocol outlines that. It also notes the requirement of masks by fans in attendance and that there will be “pods” set up throughout the building in an effort to keep people relegated to certain areas so as to comply with social distancing.
These protocols also include notes of a “frictionless” entry to games and “cashless” operation which means there will be credit cards used all over the place (and likely wireless pay methods associated with smart phones). It will also be mandatory for their to be at least one parking space between vehicles that are looking to tailgate.
It will be very interesting to say the least to watch all of this play out in reality in a little over a month. The Cowboys aren’t at home for the first time until Week 2 when they host the Atlanta Falcons so that will be the first opportunity to see all of this in action.