Patriots to start season without fans at home
The New England Patriots will play at least their first two home games in an empty Gillette Stadium.
The Patriots made the announcement Tuesday after consultation with the Massachusetts Reopening Advisory Board.
The state order affects at least the Patriots’ home opener against AFC East division rival Miami Dolphins on Sept. 13 and the Las Vegas Raiders on Sept. 27.
The New England Revolution of Major League Soccer, who share Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., also will play without fans in their home matches on Thursday, Aug. 29 and Sept. 2.
“Gillette Stadium fully supports the state’s position and this decision in the interest of public safety,” the team said in a news release. “We would have welcomed the opportunity to host fans in August and September, but are hopeful to do so later in the season. We greatly appreciate the time and support the Massachusetts Reopening Advisory Board has provided throughout this process and respect their efforts as they continue to navigate the state’s phased reopening.”
Plans are being made to “safely host fans later this fall,” the team said. The stadium seats about 66,000, but only a limited number of fans, if any, likely would be allowed to attend.
“The health and safety of our players, coaches, staff, fans and surrounding community has and will continue to lead our efforts,” the news release read.
–Field Level Media