The New England Patriots have implemented a generous policy for season-ticket holders in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic, and it’s something every NFL team should make a decision on for the upcoming season.
The Patriots are offering season-ticket holders at an elevated risk of COVID-19 infection to skip the 2020 campaign and still hold on to their seats for 2021, according to the Associated Press (h/t Boston 25 News).
Normally, fans who cancel their season tickets lose the chance to buy the seats in future years and are replaced by someone on a waiting list. New England’s season-ticket holder waiting list is one of the longest in the NFL, and some fans wait more than a decade to get their hands on tickets.
The Green Bay Packers currently have the longest waiting list in the NFL with an estimated 137,000 names on the list in 2019, while some teams like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have no wait at all.
Teams are set to return to the field next month for training camp, but that could change as coronavirus concerns are still alive. In fact, 23 Clemson football players tested positive for the virus, which doesn’t bode well for any league trying to resume its season.
There’s been no announcement on whether or not fans will be allowed to attend NFL games in 2020, but it’s expected that the stands will be empty when the season officially begins.
According to Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, fans won’t be allowed to attend sporting events until Phase 4 of the state’s reopening plan, which requires a coronavirus vaccine or treatment. Health officials estimate that it’ll take about one year to 18 months for a vaccine to be created.
Similarly, Dr. Anthony Fauci believes football shouldn’t resume at all unless extreme precautions are put in place.