The Green Bay Packers will have a much quieter lead towards the 2020 regular season, as the team declared there will be no fans in attendance for training camp practices, Family Night, and home preseason games.
Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy made the announcement on Wednesday, declaring, “The tremendous support of cheering fans at Lambeau Field motivates all of us in the Packers organization. But after consulting with local health officials and reviewing League and CDC guidelines, we felt we needed to make this difficult decision. We will miss seeing so many of our fans, particularly the young ones, during this exciting time of year. We will continue to work on the protocols and logistics in the hope that we can welcome fans back to Lambeau Field for the regular season without jeopardizing the health of our players, team personnel and fans. We ask our fans to help us in this effort by wearing masks and staying six feet away from non-family members when out in the community in the coming weeks.”
In the wake of the continued growth of COVID-19 cases, young fans will no longer be able to share their bicycles with their favorite players, nor will fans be able to celebrate Family Night in the same manner.
The team announced that Family Night will still exist in a different format. The event will still take place at Lambeau Field and will be televised in-state.
The NFL already shortened the preseason to only two weeks, down from the usual four, though it is still possible the NFLPA could push for no preseason at all.
These changes make sense and will help players, coaches, executives, staff, and fans stay healthy as the virus continues to spread. We still aren’t sure if fans will be allowed in stadiums at all during the regular season, though the cards appear to foretell an NFL season happening as of this moment.
Murphy reiterated the need for everyone to wear masks to lower the risk of infection.
The NFL is still figuring out how to have a season during this crisis and likely still has a ways to go. However, it is encouraging, regardless of how disappointing it may be, that the Green Bay Packers are making safe, intelligent choices.
Training camp is expected to begin July 28th, with rookies arriving the 21st.Matt Hendershott is a Packers fan and Miller High Life enthusiast from Northwest Ohio. He has a Master of Arts in Media and Communication from Bowling Green State University. You can follow him on Twitter @MattHendershott.