BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Baltimore Ravens are among the latest teams to announce this week it will start the 2020 season without fans at home games.
The Ravens submitted a proposal to state and local officials which would have allowed 7,500 fans at about 10 percent capacity.
It would have also included socially distanced lines to enter all mobile ticketing, and cashless concessions, among other guidelines.
But that is now on hold. Instead, the Ravens roar from a playoff crowd will fall largely silent.
“It sucks and the in-person experience is unique. You can’t take that away, but it’s the nature of COVID right now,” said Ravens fan Elaina Bowman.
“It’s gonna be quiet in there, because usually it’s loud. You know the stadium be rockin’,'” said Ravens fan Tae Smith.
“I’m gonna miss Lamar Jackson though,” Bowman added.
Though there won’t be fans, at least for, some fans seem to understand.
“When I had heard about potentially bringing fans back, it was a concern to me that it would not be safe with COVID-19,” said Ravens fan Jamie Levine.
“There are so many people who are afraid to go into big crowds, so they’re probably doing the right thing,” said Karen Henley with Ravens Roost.
“For now, it makes sense,” Bowman said.
It makes sense to Team President Dick Cass too. On a call Tuesday morning, he said the team will continue to work with local officials on a plan to bring fans back responsibility.
“Whether or not we have fans this year is going to depend entirely on the course of the coronavirus and how it affects our community,” said Dick Cass, with the Ravens.
South Baltimore businesses are adapting as well. Mothers Grille is already planning socially distanced watch parties.
“We understand why they did it. Honestly, I think we’ve all kind of gotten numb to the constant change of COVID,” said David Pollitt, with Mothers Grille.
As of Tuesday, more than half the league is starting without fans in the stadium. Team leadership said safety of staff and fans is paramount.
“No matter how good our protocol is and how effective our rules are, there will be knuckleheads who will not comply with the rules,” Cass said.
“Wear a mask everybody, wear a mask. I might say, ‘Wear a damn mask!’ I mean, c’mon!” he added.
Cass went on to say he’s hopeful the team can host fans this season. But he said that is entirely contingent on numbers continuing to trend in the right direction.