Will Fans Be Able to Attend NFL Games in Week 1 of 2020 Season?

By in NFL on
5 Minute Read
Empty NFL Stadium NFL Logo

As parts of the country slowly return to normal, all eyes are on the developments of the professional sports world as we look for any clues as to when people can expect to see all of their favorite live sports once again.

However, the question isn’t just when live sports will return to action, but whether or not fans will be allowed in the stands.

One season opener that is still several months away is the NFL’s 2020 regular season. Considering how much time there is before the scheduled start date of September 10th, this has people wondering what the season will look like and if fans might be allowed to attend by that point.

While there is no official word from the league as of yet, there have been plenty of rumors floating around about the possibility of fans in the stands.

NFL betting sites have picked up on this possibility like a linebacker scooping up a fumble. Let’s take a closer look at these odds and see where the value is at with this football prop bet.

NFL Odds on Fans in Attendance for Week 1 of 2020 Season

  • Yes (+250)
  • No (-400)

Before picking which option to wager on, we need to survey the field like Peyton Manning would in his pre-snap reads and then shout “Omaha.”

What Needs to Happen Before the Season Gets Started?

Prior to the 2020 regular season even starting, there needs to be a safe way to kick off training camps, which typically open up in mid-July. Again, the NFL still has time on its side at this point and can watch what the other leagues are doing, but there are some signs that things are already on track.

The fact that the NFL has now gone ahead and released the full 2020 schedule of games is giving people hope. But, the biggest sign that things are pointing in the right direction is that the league is planning on allowing teams to reopen their facilities on Tuesday, May 19th, with certain restrictions in place.

According to a memo sent out to each team, Commissioner Roger Goodell made the following comments:

“This first phase of reopening is an important step in demonstrating our ability to operate safely and effectively, even in the current environment. After we implement this first phase, and as more states and localities enact policies that allow more club facilities to reopen, I expect that additional staff, likely including coaching staff, will be allowed to return to club facilities in a relatively short time.”

Testing All NFL Players

As it stands right now, the NFL’s current position is that it wants all players tested twice a week. If you do the math that means over 200,000 tests would be needed in order to cover the full season. Considering how hard testing is to come by in some states right now, that seems like a pretty tall order.

With that said many believe it’s possible, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institutes for Health. Fauci thinks by mid to end of summer testing will be much more readily available, which would solve the NFL’s large volume.

What Would Happen if Players Test Positive?

With all of the testing being done in the league there is a very real possibility that there could be players that test positive. The idea being discussed is that if a player tested positive then that entire squad would need to be quarantined for 14 days.

Under this idea, it would also mean that a team would have no games during that two-week period if this happens during the regular season. That seems like a catastrophic idea considering how it would also impact other NFL teams, games and the schedule as a whole.

The UFC recently had a fighter test positive prior to their big event and he was immediately quarantined without any further issues. This could be a solution for the NFL as well.

What About the Fans?

Fauci also had some words about the NFL specifically that didn’t inspire much hope in terms of getting fans in the stands by the start of the season. He commented that should the NFL start on time, it would most likely be with empty stadiums, despite the regular testing for players.

Fauci and other experts have also stated that at some point during the regular season fans could start attending games. However, that depends on how much the country has control over the health issues at that point. Perhaps games could be played with the stands one third to half full of fans.

As of now, the NFL has remained tight-lipped about what will happen with fans in the stands for Week 1 of the regular season.

Which Option Do I Bet On?

Unlike some of the other professional sports leagues, that would either still be in play right now or starting soon, the 2020 NFL regular season isn’t set to begin until September. So, the NFL has the luxury of time and the ability to watch what the other leagues are doing in order to learn what works and what doesn’t work.

As of now, sports like NASCAR and the UFC are not allowing fans to attend their events. Furthermore, MLB and the NBA are discussing a return to action without any fans in their stadiums or arenas.

So, even though the NFL has plenty of time before their season starts, it’s clear that the possibility of fans in the stands for Week 1 is very low at best. In fact, I’m surprised the odds for this possible outcome are only at -400 considering the likelihood.

Some states might allow fans to attend games, while others don’t. That would be a clear disadvantage to the teams that can’t have fans in the stands. If that’s the case then I see the league making a universal decision to ban fans until all teams are allowed to have crowds in their stadiums.

For this bet, go with “No” at -400 odds. There’s just not enough information on the safety of having large crowds gathered for any event right now. And, there are too many states that still haven’t reopened as of yet.

Will NFL Fans Be in the Stands?No (-400)
Rick Rockwell

As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site. ...

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