Of all the negatives from last season in the National Football League, the worst might have been seeing games take place in empty (or nearly empty) stadiums because of the pandemic. Granted, it’s understandable why it happened, but from a purely football-related standpoint it took something away, in my opinion.
It doesn’t sound like that’s going to be an issue in 2021, as the league said on Tuesday that 30 of the league’s 32 teams have gotten approval to have fans in the stands at 100% capacity for the upcoming season. The two teams that have not yet been approved for that yet are the Denver Broncos and the Indianapolis Colts, but those teams are apparently on a “clear path” to getting approval to have a full house as well.
Last year, the Minnesota Vikings only had family members at some of their home games, and some of the games at U.S. Bank Stadium didn’t even have those folks in the seats. Teams had to use fake crowd noise to try to simulate some sort of home-field advantage, but given that the Vikings went 3-5 at home in 2020. . .well, it didn’t work as well as we’d like.
I’m sure that every team in the NFL is looking forward to having all the seats in their stadiums filled this year after last year’s issues. I know that, even as fans watching on television, it’s going to be awesome to see the folks in the stands and hear the noise they generate. Is it September yet?