BOSTON (CBS) — While there are several questions surrounding the NFL, and whether or not the league can actually hold the 2020 season amid the COVID-19 pandemic, teams are preparing for the new year. That includes taking steps just in case fans are allowed to come see their favorite team play.

It’s been pretty clear for a while now that Gillette Stadium and other venues around the country will not be filled to their capacity this season. Cramming 60,000-plus fans into a stadium just isn’t a wise move during a pandemic.  But the Patriots hope to welcome some fans into the stadium to cheer the team on, and already have several protocols in place to keep those fans and stadium workers safe.

The team has alerted season ticket holders that if — and that is a big IF — state and local officials allow fans to attend games, Gillette Stadium will only host “about 20 percent of its total capacity.” That means about 13,000 fans would be allowed in the 66,000-seat stadium.

Those 13,000 fans will have to follow several guidelines to adhere to social distancing protocols:

  • Ticketed parties will be asked to maintain physical distancing of at least six feet from other parties
  • Tickets will be arranged in blocks of 10 seats or less, and the first eight rows of stadium seats will not be used
  • Face coverings will be required at all times inside the stadium to keep all attendees safe
  • All tickets will be mobile

Those aren’t ideal, but a fair trade for those willing to brave it all to watch some football.

And those lucky enough to attend games will also receive an added benefit: the Patriots announced that parking for 2020 home games will be free of charge in all Gillette Stadium parking lots.

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