Rams Announce No Fans At SoFi Stadium For Start Of 2020 NFL Season
Mark Holtzman – West Coast Aerial Photography; Inc.

Although there are still some teams holding out hope for fan attendance during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it had long been deemed a foregone conclusion that the 2020 NFL season would be played in empty stadiums to start.

The timing is hardly ideal for teams like the Los Angeles Rams and Las Vegas Raiders that were set to usher in a new era at their respective stadiums to finalize the relocation. The Los Angeles Chargers will also be joining the Rams at SoFi Stadium following an unprecedented offseason due to the ongoing pandemic.

Teams around the league have done their due diligence on determining their potential stadium capacity based on the restrictions of their local government. However, Los Angeles will not be taking any chances to start the 2020 campaign.

Both the Rams and Chargers released a joint statement that there will not be any fans for the season opener, via the team’s official website:

“While we all look forward to coming together to celebrate this new era of sports and entertainment in Los Angeles, the health and safety of our fans, community, players and staff remains our top priority,” the joint statement said. “We will continue to work with LA County Department of Public Health and the City of Inglewood on a plan that, when circumstances permit, safely brings fans to SoFi Stadium and adheres to local, State, CDC and NFL guidelines.”

Los Angeles Rams owner Stan Kroenke added that they will continue to monitor the attendance situation as the season plays out:

“While we are doing everything to safely open SoFi Stadium and ultimately fulfill its promise to Rams fans, the NFL and to this region, we know our ability to welcome fans into the building will be guided by the wisdom of health care experts and the policies of local, state and federal government officials. Therefore, we won’t speculate on any timeline as to when fans will be able to join us,” Kroenke said in a statement. “The health and well-being of our employees, community and the nation, remains our highest concern.

“Millions across California and the country are on the front lines fighting COVID-19, caring for our neighbors and protecting our communities. We applaud their selfless and tireless heroism and thank them for their many sacrifices. All of us can’t wait until the day we come together to celebrate life and resiliency through sports. Until then, we ask that everyone continue to stay safe and support one another.”

With California having one of the highest rates of COVID-19 throughout the nation, it should come as no surprise to see these teams confirming their plans to take a cautious approach. It now remains to be seen whether or not this change will be permanent for SoFi Stadium’s inaugural year.

The NFL seemingly suffered a major setback after 77 players from 11 teams returned positive tests. However, it has since been confirmed that there was contamination during test preparation at the BioReference lab in New Jersey.

For now, fans of the Rams and Chargers will have to wait just a little longer to officially break in the new stadium.