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Baltimore Ravens M&T Bank Stadium Image: Baltimore Ravens

The National Football League (NFL) American football franchise Baltimore Ravens has become the first team in the league to spell out how much fans’ attendance it wants if at all supporters are allowed during the 2020 season. They plan to allow less than 14,000 fans to attend any given home game at M&T Bank Stadium (US) in 2020 — if fans are allowed to attend the games in-person at all. This is an 81.3 percent cut from the venue’s normal capacity of roughly 71,000.

The Ravens referenced that figure in a statement recently announcing they will defer 2020 season tickets to 2021 because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 130,000 people in the United States so far. Based on current guidelines from public health officials and experts, the team said M&T Bank Stadium would only be able to safely host a fraction of the 62,000 fans who have purchased season tickets for 2020.

The Baltimore Ravens are a professional American football team based in Baltimore, Maryland in US. The Ravens compete in the NFL as a member club of the American Football Conference North division. The team plays its home games at M&T Bank Stadium and is headquartered at Owings Mills in Maryland.

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

The multiuse M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore – which serves as the home arena of Baltimore Ravens – expected stadium capacity would be fewer than 14,000 if fans are permitted into venues at all when the season gets underway in September.

Otherwise, the M&T Bank Stadium can hold near about 71,000 supporters and the capped figure is based on social distancing guidelines and fan safety protocols developed by the NFL, health experts and Government officials. A crowd of 14,000 fans at M&T Bank Stadium would represent roughly 20 percent of the venue’s normal seating capacity.

Maintained Ravens President Dick Cass, “To offer a proper level of safety for fans who want to attend games, a reduction in capacity is necessary. We are disappointed that this will be a disruption for many ticket buyers, but we have an obligation to our fans and our community to keep M&T Bank Stadium as safe as possible.”

Several other NFL teams have announced that their facilities will run at reduced capacities, but the Ravens are the first to specify the exact cap on attendances. NFL teams Kansas City Chiefs and Green Bay Packers also announced recently similar plans to significantly reduce the capacities of their stadiums, but neither team provided a specific figure at which attendance would be capped.

The Ravens have also informed permanent seat license (PSL) owners that their 2020 season tickets will be deferred to the 2021 campaign, with the same seats to be offered for renewal. Credit funds paid toward the 2020 season so far will be applied to accounts and can be used towards next season’s renewal or other future ticket purchases.

Requests for refunds can also be made, while the present 2020 single-game tickets will also be discontinued.

The Senior Vice-President of Ticket Sales and Operations, Baker Koppelman, put in, “With over 62,000 season tickets already sold, there is no equitable way to accommodate in a limited stadium capacity all PSL owners who are interested in maintaining season tickets for 2020.”

“Under these unusual circumstances, it’s best to simplify the ticket sales process and allow fans to decide which games they want to attend, while giving our PSL owners priority in accessing tickets,” Koppelman added.

Going by the above development, it seems some NFL stadiums are going to be mostly empty in 2020. In fact, the league has already decided that the top six to eight rows in every building will be blocked off with a tarp. All the protocols are being put in place for the safety of fans, players and team personnel.

It might be such that fans may not be allowed to attend any Ravens games at all, but a decision in this regard has not been made yet.

For the 2020 season, the NFL is allowing each team to dictate its own capacity with the expectation that the final number will be based on local health rules and protocols that are in place for the fatal COVID-19 pandemic.

Media reports stated that the NFL is considering the possibility of requiring fans to sign a waiver if they want to attend a game.

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