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NFL expects fans at games and training camp

The NFL expects fans to fill stadiums during the regular season and attend training camp starting in late July, league officials told teams Tuesday as part of virtual team meetings.

Bears head coach Matt Nagy gives his bike to 10-year-old Kanye Shannon during a 2018 practice in Bourbonnais.
Bears head coach Matt Nagy gives his bike to 10-year-old Kanye Shannon during a 2018 practice in Bourbonnais.
Brian O’Mahoney, Chicago Sun-Times

The NFL expects fans to fill stadiums during the regular season and attend training camp starting in late July, league officials told teams Tuesday as part of virtual spring meetings. In addition, league officials said at least 30 of 32 teams — including the Bears — are expected to host full stadiums in the fall, per NFL Network.

Teams are set to report to camp July 27. The NFL plans on marketing July 31 practices — the first Saturday of camp — in a coordinated way across the league. That hoopla hasn’t surrounded training camp before, but the NFL appears eager to celebrate a return to normalcy.

Camp attendance will be subject to state and local guidelines. It’s unclear exactly how many the Bears could welcome; their new summer home at Halas Hall has considerably less parking and other amenities than Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais. Camps across the league figure to look different, however. Fans aren’t likely to get as close to players as they were in pre-pandemic times.

NFL teams held training camps without fans last year.