While some teams in the NFL are allowing fans into their stadiums, don’t expect that to be the case at Lambeau Field anytime soon.
The Green Bay Packers announced Tuesday that it was putting an indefinite hold on hosting fans at games due to the high number of positive COVID-19 tests and an increase in hospitalizations in Brown County and the surrounding area. Northeast Wisconsin is among the hottest of hotspots for the virus in the country. Among NFL cities, Green Bay had the worst 14-day average of new daily cases as of Oct. 3.
“We are very concerned with the rate of infection in our area,” Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy stated in a release. “We are trending in the wrong direction in terms of hospitalization and positive cases, and based on recommendations from community healthcare and public health officials, hosting fans at the stadium for games is not advisable at this time.
“We’d all like to resume safely attending games at Lambeau Field. We know enjoying gameday is an integral part of our community and recognize how important it is to our area. However, the health and safety of our players, staff and community is our priority. We all need to take the pandemic seriously and do our part to reduce the spread of the virus, which should lead to significant improvement in the rates of infection and hospitalizations. At that point we’ll be able to experience games in person.
“We urge everyone to wear masks, socially distance and practice proper hand hygiene. When watching our games, please limit the people with whom you cheer to your small circle of family or close friends.”
The Packers next home game is Nov. 1 against Minnesota and the team has said it definitely won’t host fans for that game. They said the only way games can have fans at them is if the area sees “a marked improvement in the rate of hospitalizations, as well as the community infection rate and positivity rate.”
Green Bay is on its bye this week and that has coach Matt LaFleur a little concerned. He trusts his players but he pleaded with the community to help them keep everyone safe.
“We’ve got to be smart. We’ve got to be very mindful of everything we’re doing, be responsible. We’ve got to wear a mask,” LaFleur said. “We would certainly appreciate it if everybody in this community would follow suit, because I think everybody enjoys watching the Green Bay Packers, and for that to continue we need people to do their part.”