NFL-Browns warn fans of reduced capacity for home games

July 9 (Reuters) - The Cleveland Browns sent a letter to season ticket holders on Thursday warning fans that due to COVID-19 the National Football League team will be limiting ticket sales for games this season.

The Browns announcement follows a similar one made by their Week 1 opponents the Baltimore Ravens, who said on Wednesday they will limit the attendance to fewer than 14,000 for the Sept. 13th opener at M&T Stadium, which has a 71,000 capacity.

"This upcoming season will look very different because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic," said the Browns in a statement.

"The Browns remain in regular communication with state and local authorities, health departments and other medical experts as they continue to devise their operational plans for the 2020 season.

"Though the Browns and the NFL remain confident games will be played, the likelihood of them occurring in full stadiums is very low."

The Browns did not indicate how many tickets they plan to sell for each game but indications are it will only be a fraction of First Energy Stadium's 68,000 capacity.

Those fans who get tickets will have to follow physical distancing requirements, mandated facial coverings for everyone in the stadium, robust cleaning and disinfecting protocols, and changes to stadium layout, seat locations and fan circulation.

The Green Bay Packers said last week that capacity at Lambeau Field would be reduced, while the New York Jets have offered season ticket holders the option of a refund on their 2020 tickets or deferring all payments towards the 2021 season.

The NFL season is due to kickoff on Sept. 10 with the Super Bowl champions Kansas City Chiefs hosting the Houston Texans. (Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Ken Ferris)

07/09/2020 21:25

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