Bills' Sean McDermott on Various NFL Fan Attendance Plans: 'Honestly Ridiculous'

Blake SchusterAnalyst IIAugust 24, 2020

Buffalo Bills Head Coach Sean McDermott runs practice form the middle of the field with a mask on during the second day of training camp opened to the media at ADPRO Sports Training Center's outdoor field in Orchard Park, N.Y., Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. P (James P. McCoy/Buffalo News via AP, Pool)
James P. McCoy/Associated Press

The NFL's decision to allow individual clubs to create their own attendance policies for the 2020 season is already causing a stir across the league. 

Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott called the plan "ridiculous" and argued it could create a competitive imbalance. 

"I think it's honestly ridiculous that there will be on the surface what appears to be a playing field that's like that, inconsistently across the league with the different away stadiums," McDermott told reporters Monday. 

As it stands, stadiums can allow spectators as long as teams follow state, local and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. Buffalo is not expected to permit fans inside Bills Stadium this season. 

McDermott's comments followed the Miami Dolphins' announcement that up to 13,000 fans (20 percent capacity) will be allowed to watch games inside Hard Rock Stadium this season. Attendees must remain socially distant and will be required to wear masks when not eating or drinking. 

Only a handful of teams are preparing to host fans this season, including the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs, who will fill Arrowhead Stadium to 22 percent capacity and require face masks.

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has also remained steadfast in his commitment to open AT&T Stadium to fans. Texas allows sporting events to be held at 50 percent capacity.

With both Kansas City and Miami on the Bills' schedule, it makes sense that McDermott would argue for a level playing field, especially as Buffalo begins the year with its best chance to win the AFC East since Tom Brady entered the league 20 years ago.

Florida's two other NFL teams, the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, are also preparing to host a limited number of supporters. The Jaguars announced they will seat TIAA Bank Field at 25 percent capacity, while the Bucs are continuing to determine how many fans can attend games.

Florida remains a COVID-19 hot spot, with more than 2,700 confirmed cases per 100,000 people, according to Johns Hopkins University.