Viruses and Venues

Why stadiums should allow fans back at games

Ethan King, Reporter

With the NFL season well underway, some teams are beginning to allow fans into their stadiums at a lower capacity. The NFL has been one of the first leagues to allow fans, and many are wondering if this is worth the risk. This has been a question I have grappled with for the past few weeks. 

On one hand, it makes no sense to put people’s lives on the line to go watch other people play a sport, something most of us do via TV anyway. 

On the other hand, we need to start bringing the world back to normal or we may never be again. This has also been a question politicians have been arguing over since the start of the COVID-19 crisis: When is it worth it to open back up? 

After weighing the options, I believe it is time to open up stadiums to fans. One of the main reasons I believe this is because teams are taking large amounts of safety precautions to protect fans. 

Let’s take the Dallas Cowboys, for example, and their Safe Stadium Policy. The Cowboys opened up their stadium in week two to fans. They have numerous rules, such as wearing masks at all times, not accepting cash, and having a capacity of no more than 25 percent. They are also separating fans into “pods”, so groups are isolated from each other and, if a person ends up testing positive, this would ideally keep the virus from spreading outside of the pod. 

Most other teams in the NFL have also implemented rules similar to this. So far, it has worked out relatively well for the League. In Kansas City, a fan who went to the game tested positive afterwards. Due to the system put in place, the team was able to see everywhere he went in the stadium with a tracing technology, and was able to quarantine everyone he was in contact with. Thankfully, he was not in contact with a large amount of people due to the pod system. 

While this system sounds great, it unfortunately most likely isn’t foolproof. 

However, in anything enjoyable we participate in, there are always risks. You could crash and die when driving your car, but people still drive regardless. 

At some point, we have to take these risks with COVID-19. This virus could be a staple in our lives for years, as a vaccine may not be available for months, and people still may not take it due to the risks it has. We have to live our lives to the fullest, yet responsibly, and for many people going to sports games is a very enjoyable part of their lives.