Dolphins reportedly get clearance to host full capacity at stadium, but will stick with 13,000 fans

Frank Schwab
·3-min read

We’re getting used to empty stadiums for NFL games. It’s actually a bit odd to see the stadiums that are a quarter full.

Florida has been operating a little differently than other states during the COVID-19 pandemic, and Gov. Ron DeSantis has told the Miami Dolphins they can have a full capacity of about 65,000 fans in their stadium, according to Andy Slater of Fox Sports 640 in Miami.

The Dolphins are going to stick with 13,000 for their next home game, which is Oct. 25 against the Chargers, Slater said. Cameron Wolfe of reported the Dolphins plan to stick with 13,000 fans for the rest of the season.

Presumably the decision could affect Florida’s other two NFL teams, the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It could also impact the Super Bowl this season, which is scheduled for Tampa in February.

Dolphins given green light for full capacity

The decision to allow full capacity in Florida, a state that has ranked near the top of COVID-19 cases throughout the year, will be met with derision.

There’s also the question of whether that many fans feel safe cramming into a stadium together, sitting shoulder to shoulder for three hours. You can make your jokes about taking that risk just to see the 1-3 Dolphins, too.

The Dolphins don’t seem to think it’s safe.

We will get to a point in which states, teams and fans are pushing to expand attendance. There has been a battle between opening things up and returning to normal with being mindful of the number of cases and the serious effects of the virus.

Florida is pushing to be the first, it appears.

Hard Rock Stadium will continue to have limited fans, the Dolphins said. (Al Diaz/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)
Hard Rock Stadium will continue to have limited fans, the Dolphins said. (Al Diaz/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

No full crowds for American sports yet

The NBA and NHL played in a bubble and had no fans. Major League Baseball sold tickets for the NLCS and World Series in Arlington, Texas this week, but for limited capacity. College football is mostly being played in front of limited crowds.

A full stadium for an NFL game in Florida or anywhere else would be bigger news than whichever game is being played. It would be a milestone, and many would worry it’s not for the best. The results would be watched closely, especially among NFL owners who are worried about the revenue they’re losing with empty stadiums.

The Dolphins aren’t going to be the team that risks an outbreak, at least for now. We’ll see if other states follow Florida’s lead, and how NFL teams react.

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