Broncos to allow fans at Empower Field starting Sept. 27 vs. Tampa Bay

The Denver Broncos will be allowed to host a limited number of fans at Empower Field at Mile High starting with their Week 3 home game against Tom Brady and Tampa Bay, Gov. Jared Polis announced Tuesday.

Specifics on safety procedures at the stadium or attendance caps are likely to be released by the Broncos in the coming weeks. Polis’ announcement came Tuesday afternoon at the Governor’s Residence alongside Brittany Bowlen, the team’s vice president of strategic initiatives who is also leading the Broncos’ COVID task force.

The governor said 5,700 fans will be allowed to attend the Week 3 home game against Tampa Bay — with the crowd mostly consisting of season-ticket holders. That comes out to 7.49% of stadium capacity (76,125).

“There’s certainly opportunity to see additional fans in future weeks (beyond Sept. 27),” Polis said.

As of Monday, 25 teams had announced they would not have fans in attendance for at least the first home game. Washington and Las Vegas have already decided to not allow fans for the entire season.

Kansas City, which hosts Thursday night’s NFL season opener against Houston, is just one of four teams that have chosen to allow limited fan attendance. The Chiefs planned to distribute approximately 16,000 tickets for their opener.

Jacksonville has set a capacity of 17,000 for its game Sunday against Indianapolis, the Colts will let in 2,500 fans for their Week 2 home opener against Minnesota, and Miami will allow 13,000 fans to attend its Week 2 home opener against Buffalo.

“Fans are a big part of our team — they bring our entire building to life,” Bowlen said Tuesday afternoon, stressing there are “many health and safety enhancements in place.”

Among those safety measures will be mandatory facial coverings for fans in attendance, socially distanced seating and entry done in small pods of fans.

On July 15, the Broncos informed season-ticket holders of their plans for a reduced capacity home schedule, with account holders getting first priority for single-game tickets and parking passes. Season-ticket holders not interested in attending games were given the option of a full refund or a credit rolled over to 2021.

The Broncos and Stadium Management Co. also previously announced that face coverings will be required for fans in attendance. The stadium will feature cashless concession options, touchless bathroom fixtures, sanitation stations and the latest air purification technology.

On Aug. 21, the Broncos announced that no fans would be permitted to attend Monday’s season opener against Tennessee, but said they remained “hopeful we can host a limited number of fans on a gradually increasing basis beginning early this season.”

This story will be updated.

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