LAS VEGAS (CBS SF) – After moving from the Bay Area to Las Vegas earlier this year, the Raiders announced that its first season at their new home would be played without fans due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The team said in a statement Monday, “After intensive consultation with healthcare officials and state and community leaders, we have made the difficult decision to play the Las Vegas Raiders 2020 inaugural season at Allegiant Stadium without fans in attendance.”
“This decision is based on our commitment to protect the health of our fans and the entire community in response to the coronavirus pandemic affecting us all,” the team went on to say. The Raiders also cited potential challenges in offering PSL holders seats if the stadium offered limited capacity.
Last month, owner Mark Davis said he was leaning towards not having fans in attendance. “My mindset today is no fans [should attend games]. I don’t even know if it’s safe to play,” Davis told ESPN.com at the time.
Along with much of the country, Nevada is also seeing a rise in COVID-19 cases. The Silver State has reported more than 51,000 confirmed cases since the pandemic began and 847 people have died.
With one month to go before the scheduled start of the regular season, the league has not settled on a league-wide policy on spectators. Along with the Raiders, the New York Giants and New York Jets have announced they would not have fans in the stands at their shared venue this season. Meanwhile, the Atlanta Falcons announced they would have limited capacity at their stadium.
The San Francisco 49ers said last month that capacity at Levi’s Stadium this season would be “determined by government regulation.” California’s own Resilience Roadmap says sports with fans in attendance are not allowed until Stage 4 of reopening.
In NFL stadiums where fans are allowed, the league will require spectators to wear face coverings this season.