Over the last several seasons, the National Football League has fallen from grace in a big way.
First and foremost, the league saw a mass exodus of fans due to the widespread protests that occurred over several seasons, beginning with Colin Kaepernick’s infamous “kneeling” demonstration which took place during the National Anthem.
Then, just as football fans began to come back to the game, America found herself in the grips of the coronavirus pandemic, forcing the league to cut attendance in huge amounts. Some stadiums allowed zero fans at all, while others worked in greatly diminished capacities.
Now, as vaccine distribution continues at full steam ahead, the league’s head honcho is showing some optimism.
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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says that he expects stadiums to return to full capacity for the coming 2021 season.
In comments reported by NBC’s Pro Football Talk, Goddell said the league expects to “Welcome back fans across the country at all NFL stadiums.”
“All of us in the NFL want to see every one of our fans back,” Goodell added. “Football is simply not the same without the fans, and we expect to have full stadiums in the 2021 season.”
NBC notes that in-person attendance during the NFL’s 2020 season was a mere 1.2 million fans. By contrast, in 2019, 16 million fans attended games.
Dr. Anthony Fauci also seemed to believe that the NFL could reopen their stadiums to full capacity sometime in 2021, but, after all of the trouble that the league has faced over these last several years, there’s no telling whether or not this means that fans will actually fill the stands.
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