The Washington Football Team has become the first NFL franchise to announce its plan to host full-capacity crowds at home games in 2021.
Washington Football Team President Jason Wright issued a statement on Thursday about the decision to bring full crowds back for the upcoming season:
"As we have always said, the safety of our fans, employees, coaching staff and players is our top priority. We take our responsibility to create a safe return for fans very seriously, and we do so with the confidence and collaboration of our state and local public health authorities with whom we stay in constant contact to assure proper protocols are in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19."
Washington's announcement comes after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told reporters in March that the league expects "to have full stadiums in the coming season."
The NFL did allow 25,000 fans to attend Super Bowl LV on Feb. 7 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. From that group, 7,500 people were vaccinated health care workers.
During the 2020 regular season, 13 of the NFL's 32 teams played home games with no fans in attendance. The Dallas Cowboys allowed the most fans per game with an average attendance of 28,187. They were the only team that averaged more 20,000 fans per game.
Washington did receive permission to host 3,000 fans for its Nov. 8 game against the New York Giants, but rising COVID-19 rates in the D.C. area led to health officials banning attendance for the remainder of the season and its playoff game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
At full capacity, FedEx Field can hold 82,000 fans for football games.