The NFL’s Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals will be allowed to host up to 6,000 spectators at two home games scheduled for September and October, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced Saturday.
DeWine granted the two NFL teams variances to the state’s sports order put in place to curb the spread of coronavirus.
“This year will certainly be different, but both the Browns and the Bengals have worked exceedingly hard and have made extensive preparations to welcome a limited number of fans to their stadiums safely,” DeWine said in a statement.
“These very thorough plans and safety precautions warrant a two-game trial to try and accommodate fans, at reduced capacities with social distancing and masks.”
For the Browns, the games are on September 17 against the Bengals and September 27 against the Washington Football Team. For the Bengals, the games are October 4 against the Jacksonville Jaguars and October 25 against the Browns.
At each of the four games, only 1,500 spectators will be allowed on either side of the stadium. Everyone must wear a face mask and use the designated entrance for their ticket.
“The Bengals are thrilled with the prospect of having fans at our home games and will reach out shortly to Season Ticket Members and fans with more specifics,” the Bengals said in a statement.
“No further variances have been issued for other games, including the Bengals Sept. 13 home game against the Los Angeles Chargers.”
The coronavirus pandemic has taken a heavy toll on the NFL, with teams and stadiums adhering to local restrictions and implementing a range of precautionary measures to safeguard players and fans.
More than 60 players have opted out of the 2020 season, which kicks off on September 10.