Most NFL teams to have full house this season



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NFL stadium capacity update for 2021 season Image: Carolina Panthers

The 2021 National Football League (NFL) season (US) is scheduled to be the 102nd season of the National Football League (NFL). The League expanded the regular season from a 16-game schedule to 17 games. The regular season is scheduled to run from September 9th, 2021, with defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers hosting Dallas Cowboys in the NFL Kickoff Game, to January 9th, 2022. The playoffs are planned to start the following weekend and will conclude with Super Bowl LVI, the League’s championship game, at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California (US) on February 13th, 2022.

‘Draftkings Nation’ stated that the NFL announced 30 of the 32 teams have been given approval to open to 100 percent capacity this Fall. The two exceptions are the Denver Broncos and Indianapolis Colts. The NFL said “both have a clear path” to reopening to full house this Fall.

The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football League consisting of 32 teams, divided equally between the National Football Conference and the American Football Conference.

Rewind to 2020. With the outbreak of COVID-19 globally in March 2020, the world has not been the same anymore. Body bags are still piling up in several countries around the globe and the economies of nations have been torn to shreds.

Likewise, the sports venue sector also got decimated due to the pandemic and the sporting calendar was just a story of postponements and cancellations of sporting events due to the pandemic. And gate-related earnings of stadia had trickled dry.

Though the NFL season had started, but most of the fixtures were being played in front of empty stands.

The 2020 NFL season ended with the Super Bowl 55 being played in front of 25,000 fans on February 7th, 2021 at the 65,890-capacity Raymond James Stadium – a venue that holds nearly 66,000 spectators.

However, with the rollout of the vaccination program, the coronavirus situation has taken a turn for the better in the United States – the nation which has faced the worst onslaught of the virulent virus leading to considerable deaths.

‘Draftkings Nation’ further stated that each State in the US has its own COVID-19 protocols in place, but restrictions are slowly being eased for public gatherings. In States where restrictions remain in place, Government officials are announcing plans for those restrictions to end over the summer.

In late March, the NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, told newsmen that he expects stadiums to be at full capacity for the 2021 season. Considering teams reside in different locations, they are still dependent on the State or the local Government easing restrictions.
 
Below is a rundown on where each team stands. Some have announced a formal plan, some are keeping fingers crossed for a full house and others are still waiting on any kind of word:
 

  • Buffalo Bills – The Buffalo Bills are planning to have full house at their residence Highmark Stadium in New York State (US) but the same comes with a rider – attendees will have to be vaccinated.
     
    Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz affirmed that every fan in attendance at a Buffalo Bills home game this Fall will need to be fully vaccinated and carry an Excelsior Pass, New York State’s electronic COVID-19 passport – “Our goal is to have a 100 percent full house for the Bills starting in the Fall, but those fans will need their vaccines. There is no God-given right to attend a football game.”
     
    The Buffalo Bills are a professional American football team based in the Buffalo-Niagara Falls metropolitan area. They compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the League’s American Football Conference (AFC) East division.
     
    The 71,870-capacity Highmark Stadium is a stadium near Orchard Park, New York, in the Southern portion of the Buffalo metropolitan area. The stadium opened in 1973 and is the home of the Buffalo Bills of the NFL.
     
  • Miami Dolphins – The Miami Dolphins are planning full house at their digs – Hard Rock Stadium – in Florida.
     
    The Florida Governor Ron DeSantis recently signed an executive order that immediately suspends all outstanding local COVID-19 emergency orders and related public health restrictions – “The fact is, we are no longer in a state of emergency.”
     
    However, he admitted that Florida was still not done with its fight against the coronavirus but reiterated the nation’s decline in COVID-19 cases and deaths.
     
    The Miami Dolphins are a professional American football team based in the Miami (US) metropolitan area. They compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member team of the League’s American Football Conference (AFC) East division.
     
    The 65,326-capacity Hard Rock Stadium is a multipurpose stadium located in Miami Gardens, Florida, a City North of Miami (US). It is the home stadium of the Miami Dolphins of the NFL.
     
  • New York Jets – The New York Jets will operate their residence – MetLife Stadium in New Jersey – to full capacity this Fall.
     
    The Governor of New Jersey, Phil Murphy, has said that the MetLife Stadium can operate at full capacity for the 2021 season.
     
    The New York Jets are a professional American football team based in the New York (US) metropolitan area. The Jets compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the League’s American Football Conference (AFC) East division.
     
    The 82,500-capacity MetLife Stadium is a stadium at the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Opened in 2010 to replace Giants Stadium, the stadium serves as the home for the New York Giants and New York Jets of the NFL.
     
  • New England Patriots – The New England Patriots anticipates full capacity this season at Gillette Stadium in Massachusetts (US) “if all goes well”.
     
    The Governor of Massachusetts, Charlie Baker, recently announced that Massachusetts would be relaxing the outdoor mask mandate, part of a collection of new guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that should leave Patriots fans optimistic about seeing some live football later this summer.
     
    The New England Patriots are a professional American football team based in the Greater Boston area. They compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the League’s American Football Conference (AFC) East division.
     
    The 65,878-capacity Gillette Stadium is a stadium in the Northeastern United States, located in Foxborough, Massachusetts, and is the home venue of the New England Patriots. It opened 19 years ago in 2002, replacing the adjacent Foxboro Stadium.
     
  • Cincinnati Bengals – The Cincinnati Bengals have not yet arrived at a decision as to whether fans will be allowed to their home facility – Paul Brown Stadium – in Cincinnati (US).
     
    The Cincinnati Bengals are a professional American football franchise based in Cincinnati, US. The Bengals compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the League’s American Football Conference (AFC) North division.
     
    The 65,535-capacity Paul Brown Stadium is an outdoor football stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio (US). It is the home venue of the Cincinnati Bengals of the NFL and opened on August 19th, 2000.
     
  • Cleveland Browns – The Cleveland Browns hope for full capacity this Fall at the FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland (US) as the team is “encouraged by the current developments related to COVID-19 in our region”.
     
    Cleveland Browns fans will likely be able to pack FirstEnergy Stadium full this coming Fall, as long as everything goes according to plan with the battle against COVID-19. After hosting a very minimal crowd last season, the Browns should be back in front of tens-of-thousands of fans before long. The development and distribution of multiple vaccines is the main reason behind this.
     
    The Cleveland Browns are a professional American football team based in Cleveland, US. Named after original coach and co-founder Paul Brown, they compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the American Football Conference North division.
     
    The 67,895-capacity FirstEnergy Stadium is a multipurpose stadium in Cleveland, Ohio, United States, primarily for American football. It is the home field of the Cleveland Browns of the NFL.
     
  • Baltimore Ravens – The Baltimore Ravens are planning to go full strength at the M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore (US).
     
    A statement sent out by Baltimore Ravens stated, “Our preparations for the new season are ongoing, and with continuing progress in vaccinations throughout the nation and in our community, we are optimistic that we will have a full stadium of fans this season. We will continue to work diligently with the State and local agencies to prepare to host fans safely. To achieve our goal of a full stadium, we encourage everyone in our community to get vaccinated and continue following the best practices recommended by the public health authorities.”
     
    The Baltimore Ravens are a professional American football team based in Baltimore (US). The Ravens compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the American Football Conference (AFC) North division.
     
    The 71,008-capacity M&T Bank Stadium is a multipurpose football stadium located in Baltimore, Maryland (US). It is the home of the Baltimore Ravens of the NFL.
     
  • Pittsburgh Steelers – COVID-19 restrictions are to be loosened which suggests full capacity at the Pittsburgh Steelers home -Heinz Field – in Pittsburgh, Pennsylavania (US).
     
    The Pennsylvania Governor, Tom Wolf, has announced that, effective May 31st, 2021, all Statewide COVID mitigation restrictions (other than the masking mandate) will be lifted. Certain masking requirements will remain in effect until 70 percent of the adult population is fully vaccinated.
     
    The Pittsburgh Steelers are a professional American football team based in Pittsburgh (US). They compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the American Football Conference (AFC) North division.
     
    The 68,400-capacity Heinz Field is a football stadium located in the North Shore neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States. It primarily serves as the home of the Pittsburgh Steelers of the NFL.
     
  • Indianapolis Colts – The Indianapolis Colts are hoping for full capacity at their digs – Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis (US).
     
    The Indianapolis Colts are an American football team based in Indianapolis, US. The Colts compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the League’s American Football Conference (AFC) South division.
     
    The 70,000-capacity Lucas Oil Stadium is a multipurpose stadium in Downtown Indianapolis, Indiana, United States. It replaced the RCA Dome as the home field of the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts and opened on August 16th, 2008.
     
  • Jacksonville Jaguars – The Jacksonville Jaguars are planning to have full attendance capacity at their home venue – TIAA Bank Field – for the upcoming season.
     
    The Jacksonville Jaguars are a professional football franchise based in Jacksonville, Florida (US). The Jaguars compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the American Football Conference (AFC) South division.
     
    The 67,164-capacity TIAA Bank Field is an American football stadium located in Jacksonville, Florida (US), which primarily serves as the home facility of the Jacksonville Jaguars of the NFL.
     
  • Houston Texans – The Houston Texans are selling tickets with the assumption that their home – NRG Stadium – will be packed to capacity.
     
    The Houston Texans are a professional American football team based in Houston (US). The Texans compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the American Football Conference (AFC) South division.
     
    NRG Stadium, formerly Reliant Stadium, is a multipurpose stadium in Houston, Texas, United States. It was constructed at a cost of $352 million and has a seating capacity of 72,220. It was the first NFL facility to have a retractable roof and is the home arena of Houston Texans.
     
  • Tennessee Titans – Since all restrictions have been lifted on May 14th, 2021, the Tennessee Titans are planning to have full house at their residence – Nissan Stadium – in Tennessee (US).
     
    The Tennessee Titans are a professional American football team based in Nashville, Tennessee (US). The Titans compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the American Football Conference South division.
     
    The 69,143-capacity Nissan Stadium is a multipurpose stadium in Nashville, Tennessee, United States. Owned by the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, it is primarily used for football and is the home of Tennessee Titans.
     
  • Denver Broncos – The Denver Broncos are planning to go full house at their home stadium – Empower Field at Mile High – in Denver (US).
     
    After hosting limited fans at four home games last season, the Denver Broncos are preparing to host full-capacity crowds. Denver had limited attendance last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic which stung the United States resulting in almost more than 600,000 people losing their lives till date. This year, with COVID-19 vaccines becoming more readily available, the team hopes to return to normal attendance.
     
    The Denver Broncos are a professional American football franchise based in Denver, US. The Broncos compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the League’s American Football Conference (AFC) West division.
     
    The 76,125-capacity Empower Field at Mile High is an American football stadium in Denver, Colorado (US). The stadium is nicknamed Mile High due to the City’s elevation of 5,280 feet. The primary tenant is the Denver Broncos of the NFL. It opened in 2001 to replace the Broncos’ original home, the old Mile High Stadium.
     
  • Los Angeles Chargers – The Los Angeles Chargers are yet to arrive at a decision on allowing fans at their spectacular home ground – SoFi Stadium in Inglewood (US).
     
    The Los Angeles Chargers are a professional American football team based in the Los Angeles metropolitan area (US). The Chargers compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the League’s American Football Conference West division.
     
    The jaw-dropping SoFi Stadium is a stadium and entertainment complex in Inglewood, California, United States. It is located at the former site of the Hollywood Park Racetrack 3 miles (4.8 km) from LAX Airport, immediately Southeast of The Forum. Opened in September 2020, the stadium serves as the home for the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers of the NFL.
     
  • Kansas City Chiefs – The Kansas Chiefs are planning packed house at their home – Arrowhead Stadium – in Kansas City (US).
     
    The Kansas City Chiefs are a professional American football team based in Kansas City, Missouri (US). They compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league’s American Football Conference West division.
     
    The 76,416-capacity Arrowhead Stadium is an American football stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, United States. It primarily serves as the home venue of the Kansas City Chiefs of NFL. The stadium has been officially named GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium since 2021.
     
  • Las Vegas Raiders – The Las Vegas Raiders is hoping a packed to capacity Allegiant Stadium in Nevada (US) following the Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak recently stating that capacity levels in sports venues can reach 100 percent on June 1st, 2021.
     
    The Las Vegas Raiders are a professional American football team based in the Las Vegas metropolitan area (US). The Raiders compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the League’s American Football Conference West division.
     
    The 65,000-capacity alluring Allegiant Stadium is a domed stadium located in Paradise, Nevada, United States. It serves as the home stadium for the Las Vegas Raiders of the NFL and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Rebels college football team.
     
  • Dallas Cowboys – The Dallas Cowboys are planning for capacity at full strength in their residence – the AT&T Stadium in Texas (US).
     
    The Dallas Cowboys are a professional American football team based in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex (US). The Cowboys compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the League’s National Football Conference East division.
     
    The 80,000-capacity AT&T Stadium, formerly Cowboys Stadium, is a retractable roof stadium in Arlington, Texas, United States. It serves as the home of the Dallas Cowboys of the NFL and was completed on May 27th, 2009.
     
  • Philadelphia Eagles – For the Philadelphia Eagles, restrictions to be loosened in time for Week 1 full capacity at their home – Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia (US).
     
    The Philadelphia Eagles are a professional American football team based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (US). The Eagles compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the League’s National Football Conference (NFC) East division.
     
    The 67,594-capacity Lincoln Financial Field is an American football stadium located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. It serves as the home stadium of the Philadelphia Eagles of the NFL.
     
  • New York Giants – With the New York Governor
     
    Andrew Cuomo announcing that sports venues can operate at full capacity this Fall, the New York Giants digs – MetLife Stadium in New Jersey (US) will boast full house.
     
    The New York Giants are a professional American football team based in the New York metropolitan area (US). The Giants compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the League’s National Football Conference (NFC) East division.
     
    The 82,500-capacity MetLife Stadium is a stadium at the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford, New Jersey (US). Opened in 2010 to replace Giants Stadium, the stadium serves as the home for the New York Giants and New York Jets of the NFL.
     
  • Washington Football Team – The Washington Football Team has made official its intention to welcome back fans to its home stadium – FedExField in Washington (US) – for the 2021 season at full capacity.
     
    The Washington Football Team is a professional American football team based in the Washington metropolitan area (US). Formerly known as the Washington Redskins, the team competes in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the NFC East division.
     
    The 82,000-capacity FedExField, originally Jack Kent Cooke Stadium, is an American football stadium located near the Capital Beltway in Prince George’s County, Maryland, Washington, D.C. (US). The stadium is the home of the Washington Football Team of the NFL.
     
  • Chicago Bears – With Chicago planning on full city reopening by July 4th, 2021, the Chicago Bears are planning full house in their home – Soldier Field – in Chicago (US).
     
    The Chicago Bears are a professional American football team based in Chicago (US). The Bears compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the League’s National Football Conference (NFC) North division.
     
    The 61,500-capacity Soldier Field is an American football and soccer stadium located in the Near South Side of Chicago, Illinois, near Downtown Chicago (US). It opened in 1924 and is the home field of the Chicago Bears of the National Football League (NFL), who moved to the stadium in 1971.
     
  • Detroit Lions – The Detroit Lions are yet to reach a decision on allowing fans to their residence – Ford Field – in Detroit (US).
     
    The Detroit Lions are a professional American football team based in Detroit (US). The Lions compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member of the National Football Conference North division. The team plays its home games at Ford Field in Downtown Detroit.
     
    The 65,000-capacity Ford Field is a domed American football stadium located in Downtown Detroit (US). It primarily serves as the home of the Detroit Lions of the NFL.
     
  • Green Bay Packers – The Green Bay Packers have still not decided whether to allow fans to their digs – Lambeau Field – in Wisconsin (US).
     
    The Green Bay Packers are a professional American football team based in Green Bay, Wisconsin (US). The Packers compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the National Football Conference (NFC) North division.
     
    The 81,441-capacity Lambeau Field is an outdoor athletic stadium in the North Central United States, located in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The home field of the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League, it opened in 1957 as City Stadium, replacing the original City Stadium at Green Bay East High School as the Packers’ home field.
     
  • Minnesota Vikings – The Minnesota Vikings are likely to fill their home field to capacity – the U.S. Bank Stadium – in Minnesota (US).
     
    The Minnesota Vikings are a professional American football team based in Minneapolis (US). They compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the National Football Conference (NFC) North division.
     
    The 73,000-capacity U.S. Bank Stadium is an enclosed stadium located in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota (US). Built on the former site of the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, the indoor stadium opened in 2016 and is the home of the Minnesota Vikings of the NFL.
     
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are planning for full house at their home – Raymond James Stadium – in Florida (US).
     
    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are a professional American football team based in Tampa, Florida (US). The Buccaneers compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the League’s National Football Conference (NFC) South division.
     
    The 65,890-capacity Raymond James Stadium – also known by the nicknames ‘Ray Jay’ and ‘The New Sombrero’, is a multipurpose stadium located in Tampa, Florida (US). It is home to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the (NFL).
     
  • Atlanta Falcons – The Atlanta Falcons intend to be at full capacity at their home ground – Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta (US) – once their season kicks off in the Fall.
     
    Officials said the stadium will still require face coverings for fans throughout the stadium and maintain hand sanitization stands as well as strict cleaning and sanitization before, during, and after events, and increased cleaning staff.
     
    The Atlanta Falcons are a professional American football team based in Atlanta (US). The Falcons compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the League’s National Football Conference (NFC) South division.
     
    The 71,000-capacity Mercedes-Benz Stadium, also known as simply ‘The Benz’, is a multipurpose stadium located in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. Opened in August 2017 as a replacement for the Georgia Dome, it serves as the home stadium of the Atlanta Falcons of the NFL.
     
  • Carolina Panthers – The Carolina Panthers will operate their home facility – the Bank of America Stadium in North Carolina (US) – to full capacity.
     
    The Carolina Panthers are a professional American football team based in Charlotte, North Carolina (US). The Panthers compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the League’s National Football Conference (NFC) South division.
     
    The Bank of America Stadium is a 75,523-seat football stadium located on 33 acres in uptown Charlotte, North Carolina, United States. It is the home facility and headquarters of the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League (NFL).
     
  • New Orleans Saints – The New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell seems optimistic that the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in Louisiana (US) will be at full capacity when the New Orleans Saints start the 2021 season.
     
    The New Orleans Saints are a professional American football team based in New Orleans, US. The Saints compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member of the League’s National Football Conference (NFC) South division.
     
    The 74,295-capacity Mercedes-Benz Superdome – often referred to simply as the Superdome – is a domed sports and exhibition stadium located in the Central Business District of New Orleans, Louisiana, United States. It primarily serves as the home venue for the New Orleans Saints of the National Football League (NFL).
     
  • San Francisco 49ers – The San Francisco 49ers are planning to fill their home facility – Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara (US) – to the brim.
     
    The San Francisco 49ers are a professional American football team based in the San Francisco Bay Area (US). They compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member of the League’s National Football Conference (NFC) West division.
     
    The 68,500-capacity Levi’s Stadium is an American football stadium located in Santa Clara, California, in the San Francisco Bay Area (US). It has served as the home venue for the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers since 2014.
     
  • Arizona Cardinals – With the Arizona Governor Doug Ducey lifting all restrictions on Arizona (US) businesses, the Arizona Cardinals are planning to go full house at their home venue -State Farm Stadium – in Arizona.
     
    The Arizona Cardinals are a professional American football team based in the Phoenix metropolitan area (US). The Cardinals compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the National Football Conference (NFC) West division.
     
    The 63,400-capacity State Farm Stadium is a multipurpose stadium in Glendale, Arizona, West of Phoenix (US). It is the home of the Arizona Cardinals of the NFL.
     
  • Los Angeles Rams – The Los Angeles Rams have still not arrived at a decision on whether to allow fans to their home ground – the spectacular SoFi Stadium in Inglewood (US).
     
    The Los Angeles Rams are a professional American football team based in the Los Angeles metropolitan area (US). The Rams compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member of the National Football Conference (NFC) West division.
     
    The 70,000-capacity SoFi Stadium is a stadium and entertainment complex in Inglewood, California, United States. It is located at the former site of the Hollywood Park Racetrack 3 miles from LAX Airport, immediately southeast of The Forum.
     
  • Seattle Seahawks – The Seattle Seahawks are yet to take a decision on allowing fans to their stadium fold – Lumen Field in Seattle (US).
     
    The Seattle Seahawks are a professional American football team based in Seattle (US). The Seahawks compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the League’s National Football Conference (NFC) West division.
     
    The 72,000-capacity Lumen Field is a multipurpose stadium in Seattle, Washington, United States. Located in the City’s SoDo neighborhood, it is the home field of the Seattle Seahawks of the NFL.
     

 
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