UPDATE: The Broncos announced on June 2nd and the Colts announced on June 29 they have been cleared for full capacity at their stadiums this season. That means all 32 teams have been approved for full capacity this season.
UPDATE: The NFL announced 30 of the 32 teams have been given approval to open to 100% capacity this fall, per Tom Pelissero. The two exceptions are the Denver Broncos and Indianapolis Colts. The NFL said “both have a clear path” to re-opening to full capacity this fall.
The NFL kicks off the 2021 regular season on Thursday, September when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers open their Super Bowl title defense. The Bucs will likely open their title defense in front a packed house at Raymond James Stadium, and that’s kind of a big deal.
A year ago, the COVID-19 pandemic was resulting in postponements and cancellations across the sports world. By the time the NFL season started, sports had restarted but they were doing so in mostly empty stadiums. In the fall, we started to see small capacity numbers for a handful of stadiums, but it was a long way from full capacity. The 2020 NFL season ended with Super Bowl 55 played in front of 25,000 fans at a stadium that holds nearly 66,000.
But now, the roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine and a flattening of the curve is resulting in states re-opening. Each state has its own guidelines, but more and more we’re seeing restrictions removed entirely for public gatherings. In states where restrictions remain in place, government officials are announcing plans for those restrictions to end over the summer.
In late March, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told the media he expects stadiums to be at full capacity for the 2021 season. Considering teams reside in different locations, they are still dependent on the state or local government easing restrictions. Below is a rundown on where each team stands. Some have made announced a formal plan, some have expressed hope for a full capacity, and others are still waiting on any kind of word. We’ll update this as more details arrive.
Bills: Planning on full capacity but only if fans are vaccinated — Report
Dolphins: All restrictions suspended, suggesting full capacity — Report
Jets: Governor announced MetLife Stadium can operate at full capacity this fall — Report
Patriots: “If all goes well” team anticipates full capacity this season — Report
Browns: Team “encouraged by the current developments related to COVID-19 in our region” and hope for full capacity in the fall — Report
Ravens: Planning on full capacity — Report
Steelers: Restrictions to be loosened which suggests full capacity — Report
Colts: Hope is for full capacity — Report
Jaguars: Planning on full capacity — Report
Texans: Selling tickets under assumption it’s full capacity — Report
Titans: All restrictions lifted on May 14, suggesting full capacity — Report
Cowboys: Planning on full capacity — Report
Eagles: Restrictions to be loosened in time for Week 1 full capacity — Report
Giants: Governor announced MetLife Stadium can operate at full capacity this fall — Report
Washington: Planning on full capacity — Report
Buccaneers: All restrictions suspended, suggesting full capacity — Report
Falcons: Planning on full capacity — Report
Panthers: Planning on full capacity — Report
Saints: Mayor optimistic for full capacity — Report