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Report: NFL Considering Policy Enabling Fan Sound to Be Heard in Stadiums

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 19, 2020

NFL logo on the field at the Bank of American Stadium before an NFL football game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)
Nell Redmond/Associated Press

The NFL is reportedly considering a policy that would allow teams to pump in fan noise during games to compensate for the lack of attendees because of the coronavirus pandemic.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported the news Wednesday.

Television networks were already prepared to simulate crowd reactions.

Fox play-by-play announcer Joe Buck discussed the situation with SiriusXM's Andy Cohen (via Dave Zangaro of NBC Sports Philadelphia) in May.

"It's pretty much a done deal," he said. "I think whoever's gonna be at that control is going to have to be very good at their job and be realistic with how a crowd would react depending on what just happened on the field. It's really important."

Buck added the network was also planning to put virtual fans in the stands.

Home-field advantage has traditionally been a factor in the NFL. Ben Owen of Lineups noted home teams won 57.3 percent of regular-season games and 62.3 percent of playoff contests from 2002 to 2014.

The NFL is allowing teams to decide how to handle attendance this season based on local and state guidelines related to the COVID-19 pandemic, per ESPN.

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Week 1 is scheduled to kick off Sept. 10 when the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs host the Houston Texans. When fans are present, Arrowhead Stadium is one of the loudest stadiums in the country, but that's unlikely to be the case for the upcoming season.

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