Bears announce no fans at Soldier Field for start of 2020 season
As teams around the NFL finalize their plans for allowing (or not allowing) fans at games this season during the pandemic, the Bears and the city agreed to keep Soldier Field empty — for now.
The Bears announced Monday evening they will indefinitely keep Soldier Field empty for home games.
The team’s statement came after conversations with the City of Chicago, health officials and the park district didn’t produce a consensus on a safe way to host a limited number of fans amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“After discussing a draft plan with city health officials, the Bears and the City of Chicago agreed the health metrics show that it is not the right time to welcome fans back to Soldier Field,” the team said. “The health and safety of the city’s residents and fans of the Bears will always take priority.
“The team and city will continue to monitor the environment and believe there can be a sound plan in place to bring fans back to Soldier Field once it is deemed safe and appropriate. Until then, Bears home games will not include in-person fans.”
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Several NFL teams have announced similar plans, including the Packers deciding to play in an empty Lambeau Field for at least the first month of the season, but others are still hoping to have a limited-capacity crowd. The Chiefs expect to have Arrowhead Stadium a little over 20 percent full for the NFL kickoff game against the Texans on Sept. 10.
Unlike Major League Baseball, the NFL does not have a league-wide policy on fan attendance this season and will allow each team and home city to decide for themselves.
Bears CEO Ted Phillips said in June the team was “still extremely hopeful, confident, that we’re gonna have a season with fans,” but that optimism is on hold for now.