The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will begin allowing people at games in Week 4, giving fans their first in-person look at quarterback Tom Brady.
The Bucs announced plans for a “soft opening” of the stadium on Oct. 4 against the Los Angeles Chargers after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis moved the state into Phase 3 of its COVID-19 reopening plan.
They had previously announced there would be no fans at the team’s first two home games, which included the Chargers game.
Bucs to allow limited fans at second home game
The Bucs’ Oct. 4 home game will be available only to those with the longest season pass tenure “in recognition of their loyalty to the team.” Those with continuous membership since 1988 or earlier will have a chance at a limited number of tickets beginning Oct. 1.
Tampa Bay will then ramp up to allow 25 percent capacity at the stadium, which holds approximately 65,890 fans. That means about 16,000 fans can attend beginning with the Week 6 game against the Green Bay Packers.
A “Priority Presale” will begin Oct. 5 for the rest of the home schedule. Those who kept their 2020 season pass payments as a credit toward 2021 can purchase limited tickets for up to two games.
The Bucs and the Tampa Sports Authority will use a “comprehensive stadium reopening plan” similar to other stadiums that ensures social distancing, mobile ticketing, touchless restroom hardware and proper sanitation measures.
DeSantis looking ahead to Super Bowl
The Miami Dolphins and Jacksonville Jaguars each had limited numbers of fans at their home openers. DeSantis said he believes it’s important to show the NFL it can host fans for the Super Bowl in February.
“I’ve supported that,” DeSantis said, via The Bradenton Herald. “It’s not really a question of government. It’s really what the league’s been comfortable with,” he said. “I very much support the Bucs having fans. We expect to do a full Super Bowl, and we’re going to show that we’re going to be able to do that.
“I think they can still do that. And I know there’s some issues about insurance and all these other things, and I respect that and maybe we’ll address that after the election here in Florida with the new legislature. But yeah, I think it’s important.”
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