Packers estimate maximum 12,000 fans will be allowed at games this season
Mark Murphy, Green Bay Packers president and CEO, talks about how the 2020 season likely will be impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Green Bay Press-Gazette
GREEN BAY – The Green Bay Packers estimate a maximum 10,000 to 12,000 fans will be allowed at games this season.
Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy provided the first glimpse of how the team is thinking about attendance this season during the team's announcement of its 2019-2020 financial results.
"Initial estimates are between 10,000 and 12,000 seating capacity," Murphy said during a Zoom conference call on Tuesday. "It's going to be a very different experience and feel in the stadium."
Games could have have fewer than 10,000, depending on health safety requirements at the time. The possibility remains there could be no fans, as well.
Twelve thousand fans would be just under 15% of Lambeau Field's capacity of 81,441. The Packers averaged 77,845 fans during the 2019 season. The initial games could have fewer than 10,000, depending on health safety requirements.
The Packers informed season ticket holders in June that games would be played in front of fewer fans in reaction to the coronavirus pandemic. Season ticket holders can opt out of the season without jeopardizing access to their seats next year. Those who opt in will have a chance of getting tickets to games, but likely won't be in their normal seats if they do get them.
Surveys are expected to go out this week, with a return deadline of July 31.
As a result, no previously issued tickets, either season tickets or those bought on the secondary market, are valid.
It is not a certainty there will be any fans at games. Fans will not be allowed at training camp, which is expected to start next week, or at Family Night or the lone preseason game scheduled for Lambeau Field.
States across the nation are reporting rising infection rates, putting in peril any events or activities that require large or intimate gatherings.
"We are going to let the pandemic decide for us. We are going to monitor locally as well as across the state how things are proceeding," Murphy said. "It's very concerning to us, not only the national numbers, but Wisconsin's numbers and the states."
The team wants to see if it can safely have practices and games before adding fans to the mix.
"It's going to be a challenge hosting games," Murphy said. "Keeping our players healthy, our staff healthy, our coaches healthy, and then you add on top of that making sure our fans stay healthy. We don't want to get too far out ahead of ourselves."
Social distancing and wearing of face masks will be required to attend a game.
"That's why we have the opt out. If you are not comfortable, you just don't want all the requirements, the game-day experience at Lambeau is going to be different," Murphy said. "It's going to take longer to get in, it's going to be a whole different process, and we want to make sure people are aware of exactly what they'd be getting into should they decide to come to games."
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