KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Chiefs announced Monday that the NFL franchise will allow fans in the stands to start the 2020 season, but Arrowhead Stadium will be limited to 22% capacity, and seating will be available in pods only.
The reigning Super Bowl champions announced the changes and a host of other COVID-19-related restrictions that will dictate the fan experience when the Chiefs kick off their season Sept. 10 against the Houston Texans.
The announced reduction means only 16,700 of the stadium’s roughly 76,000 seats will be filled for each of the team’s first three 2020 home games and adheres to the “guidelines established by the National Football League, and with the approval of Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas, City of Kansas City Health Director Dr. Rex Archer and City of Kansas City EMS Medical Director Dr. Erica Carney,” the Chiefs said in a statement.
According to KCTV, single-game tickets for the first three matchups will go on sale to season-ticket holders Aug. 24 by tenure and will be sold in grouped pods of seats. Season-ticket holders will be able to purchase as many as six seats in a pod.
Any remaining tickets will be sold first to Jackson County, Missouri, residents and then the general public, KCTV reported.
The Chiefs’ decision makes the franchise the first to commit to the pod-seating format, with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones telling CBS Sports less than one week ago that the Dallas franchise is considering scattering pods, which hold no more than 15 people, around AT&T Stadium.
According to The Kansas City Star, other increased COVID-19 protocols and measures the Chiefs have adopted for the first three home games include:
• All attendees must wear self-provided masks, unless they are “actively eating or drinking.”
• Tailgating will be allowed, but guests can only tailgate with those who also have tickets in their pod.
• Fans will be greeted inside the stadium with “new physical distancing measures in place, including in seating areas, in areas where lines tend to form, as well as high-traffic areas.”
• The stadium will move to a completely cashless system, with credit and debit cards at points of sales.
• All staff members will go through health screenings, including temperature checks.
• All “high-touch” areas will be cleaned and sanitized before, during and after each game.
“Is it a 100% foolproof from the disease spreading? No. Do we think we’ve taken a lot of precautions? Yes. Should folks that are high risk for hospitalization or death be attending? Probably not,” city of Kansas City Health Director Dr. Rex Archer told the Star.
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