Cowboys' Jerry Jones Claims Opening Stadium Roof, Door Reduces COVID-19 Spread

Blake SchusterAnalyst IIAugust 21, 2020

Fans arrive to AT&T Stadium for for an NFL football game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)
Michael Ainsworth/Associated Press

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is offering a new rationale for those concerned about COVID-19 amid his commitment to allow fans to attend games this season.

The team president told 105.3 The Fan in Dallas that retracting the roof and opening a door to AT&T Stadium would create a "vacuum cleaner" effect inside the arena, helping keep fans safe. Jones didn't provide evidence to back up his claim, but he said he'd consider not using as much air conditioning inside the building if it helped fight the spread of the coronavirus.    

Mark Lane @therealmarklane

#Cowboys owner Jerry Jones tells @1053thefan that if they open the roof and open just one door, it creates a "vacuum cleaner" type experience.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is allowing teams to create their own attendance policies this season provided they follow guidelines from state and local authorities and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Kansas City Chiefs announced plans to host fans inside Arrowhead Stadium at 22 percent capacity while requiring face masks, for example. 

Texas currently allows sporting events to operate at 50 percent capacity, meaning the 80,000 seat venue could host as many as 40,000 fans per game. 

Mark Lane @therealmarklane

#Cowboys owner Jerry Jones tells @1053thefan he might allow AT&T Stadium to be a little warmer (opening stuff up) if it meant it kept fans, players safer.

Speaking to the media Aug. 12, Jones said the team would create sectioned-off "pods" where groups of fans could sit together while socially distancing:

"As you know, you're dealing with a little bit of a moving target and I'm not trying to diminish the moving target aspect of it but we're very unique in we have the suite capacities we have out there that give us some extra control. We also have a stadium that has 3 million square feet in it…when you look at a number in the stadium, don't think that number's getting together out there, they're not. It'll be in pods of possibly five, 10, 15 different people. Our stadium is well suited to put together numbers of people that have elected to come and want to watch the Dallas Cowboys play. I won't speculate on a number."

Dallas is scheduled to open the season Sept. 13 against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium. The team's first home game is Sept. 20 against the Atlanta Falcons.