BOSTON (CBS) — When the Patriots take the field at Gillette Stadium for their season opener in mid-September, there will be no fans in attendance.
Despite the team’s efforts to find creative solutions to getting fans into the stadium during the coronavirus pandemic, the Patriots announced on Tuesday that no fans will be allowed to attend any events at Gillette Stadium through at least September.
That news will affect two Patriots games — the season opener on Sept. 13 against Miami, and the Week 3 matchup with Las Vegas on Sept. 27 — as well as three New England Revolution games.
“Gillette Stadium fully supports the state’s position and this decision in the interest of public safety,” the statement said. “We would have welcomed the opportunity to host fans in August and September, but are hopeful to do so later in the season. We greatly appreciate the time and support the Massachusetts Reopening Advisory Board has provided throughout this process and respect their efforts as they continue to navigate the state’s phased reopening.”
Last week, it was reported that the Patriots were exploring a “pods” system that could have safely allowed small clusters of people into the stadium in different spots. Last month, the team announced that a maximum capacity of 20 percent would be the largest possible attendance for events.
While the news rules out fans for the month of September, the team remains optimistic that fans will be able to attend games at some point this season. The Patriots are set to host two games in October, two games in November, and two games to end the season in late December and early January.
“Gillette Stadium will continue its preparations to safely host fans later this fall and will rely on guidance from the Massachusetts Reopening Advisory Board and our team of independent experts,” the statement said. “The health and safety of our players, coaches, staff, fans and surrounding community has and will continue to lead our efforts.”