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NFL to Allow Fans at 2021 Training Camps; 30 Teams Cleared for Full Stadiums

Jenna CiccotelliCorrespondent IIMay 26, 2021

AP Photo/Matt Patterson

The NFL will be welcoming back more fans in 2021.

According to ESPN's Kevin Seifert, fans will be allowed to attend training camps this summer in accordance with state and local guidelines. Thirty teams already have permission to open their stadiums at full capacity when the regular season kicks off in September.

The Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos are reportedly still working on authorization to fill their stadiums, but NFL executive vice president of club business and league events Peter O'Reilly said he "feels good" about that process. 

The league will not implement a vaccination policy for fans to be able to attend games, but state and local guidelines will apply. 

Training camps will open July 27 for most of the league, with the Dallas Cowboys, Pittsburgh Steelers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers allowed to start earlier. The Steelers are playing the Cowboys in the Hall of Fame preseason game Aug. 5, while the Buccaneers start their campaign against Dallas on Sept. 9 on Thursday Night Football

July 31 is the start date for "practices and fan events," according to Mark Maske of the Washington Post

"It won't likely look exactly the same as a normal training camp as far as proximity to players and autographs and some of the other things," O'Reilly said, per Seifert. "But we're excited to be able to communicate that fans will be able to enjoy an accessible part of the calendar."

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As the league prepares to return to a level of normalcy, fans are apparently ready to participate. According to O'Reilly, season tickets leaguewide were renewed at a rate of roughly 90 percent, and ticket sales in the 10-day period following the 2021 schedule release were 83 percent higher than the same timespan in 2019. 

Many teams played the 2020 season without fans in attendance, though some opened their stadiums at a reduced capacity later in the year. According to NFL.com's Nick Shook, 1.2 million fans were able to attend games in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.  

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