Titans Rule Out Fans for Opener
The Tennessee Titans announced Tuesday that due to the coronavirus pandemic, no fans will be in attendance at Nissan Stadium for their home opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sept. 20
Titans President and CEO Burke Nihill made the statement during Nashville Mayor John Cooper's daily COVID-19 press conference:
"There's certainly no denying that we wish we would be opening our home schedule on Sept. 20 in front of fans. NFL football is a game meant to be played in front of a loud, cheering crowd and no one desires that outcome more than us.
"However, these are not normal times and as civic leaders in this great city, we understand and support Mayor Cooper and Metro Nashville Public Health Department's decision today to delay welcoming fans into Nissan Stadium."
The statement comes one day after the Kansas City Chiefs announced reduced capacity at Arrowhead Stadium for the upcoming season.
Also on Monday, the Chicago Bears revealed that spectators won't be in attendance at Soldier Field until it is "deemed safe and appropriate." The franchise did not provide any additional information.
Similar to Kansas City, the Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots have announced limited stadium capacities, while Nov. 1 will be the earliest that the Green Bay Packers will welcome fans to Lambeau Field.
The Las Vegas Raiders, New York Giants, New York Jets and Washington Football Team have all announced that they will complete the 2020 season without fans in attendance during home games.
Over the last few months, Tennessee has been working with local health officials to create the Titans Safe Stadium plan to ensure a safe experience for fans attending games.
Notable measures include mandatory face coverings, socially-distant seating, hand sanitizer stations throughout the stadium, and more.
Updates on when fans can attend Titans games will continue to be provided, as the franchise hopes to accommodate spectators at some point this season.
Director and chief medical officer of the Nashville Metro Public Health Department Michael C. Caldwell said in the team's official statement:
"Though the time to open its gates isn't quite here yet, the good news is that the Titans have the right road map. I'm confident that the plan we created together is a careful, well-rounded design that will provide a large degree of protection for fans attending games in the hopefully near future. I know the team has made the necessary preparations to implement significant safety measures when the time comes."
The MLS' Nashville SC shares Nissan Stadium with the Titans, and the soccer club announced it will not host fans through September.
The Titans averaged 64,509 fans at Nissan Stadium last season, good for 21st in the NFL.
After opening the season at Denver before hosting Jacksonville, Tennessee will travel to Minnesota in Week 3 before hosting Pittsburgh and Buffalo in Weeks 4 and 5.