Slowly but surely the United States is making legitimate progress against the pandemic. Numbers are finally starting to drop and vaccines are starting to roll out at a nice clip. Couple those things with signs of potential herd immunity and Americans have been able to feel optimistic for the first time in quite a while. That optimism is reportedly creeping into the offices of the NFL, too.
According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, the league has “a growing sense of optimism” that stadiums will be full during the 2021 season.
There is some belief that the United States will have turned a corner by Memorial Day at the end of May, and if that’s the case, by Labor Day in early September the NFL and teams around the league could be able to give the green light to pack stadiums again.
Florio points out that people simply getting the vaccine will play a major factor in influencing the league’s decisions on fan capacity. He also explains that there needs to be a shift in the states that have been the most cautious throughout the pandemic.
“There’s nothing wrong with extreme caution. At some point, however, extreme caution becomes counterproductive — especially as evidence mounts that we’re collectively getting the situation under control. For the NFL, a lingering political reluctance to return to normal (even if the circumstances justify it) could result in, for example, full stadiums in states like Florida and Texas but far fewer fans in California, New York, and Pennsylvania.”
Here’s to being optimistic and hoping that we do see full stadiums again in 2021. Americans can’t go another football season without sitting elbow-to-elbow with a stranger and spending absurd amounts of money on mediocre food and beer. Most airlines aren’t letting you buy food or drinks at the moment despite sitting on top of each other, so now we really need that fix inside a packed stadium.