In a surprising twist, it looks like your Houston Texans will be playing in front of a crowd after all! It just won’t be at home. No, the Texans will be playing in front of fans of the Kansas City Chiefs when they open the 2020 NFL season on the evening of Thursday, September 10th at Arrowhead Stadium.
We have finalized plans for a reduced capacity of approximately 22 percent to kick off the 2020 season.https://t.co/AdT6uUFEbi— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) August 17, 2020
The estimated capacity for the season opener at Arrowhead will be about 16,000 fans. The real meat here is in how the Chiefs are handling the ticketing process; maybe the Texans may implement something similar. Well, at least when October rolls around (maybe).
“Single-game tickets for the club’s first three games will go on sale to Season Ticket Members beginning on Monday, Aug. 24...Tickets will be sold in grouped pods of seats, with the ability to purchase as many as six seats in the same pod through the online process. Fans will be required to attend with known guests sitting within their purchased pod. If any tickets remain to be sold, the purchase opportunity for Jackson County residents, followed by the public, will be communicated at a later date.”
It looks like the “pod” sale strategy is going into effect. Season ticket holders would obviously have first dibs (unless they rolled over their plans), but it’s interesting to see the county get first dibs before the remainder of the public. That means that in the unlikely event that season ticket holders don’t scoop all the tickets, the local fanbase still has first dibs. I’ve seen a few traveling fans (e.g., Debbie The Texan) wondering out loud on Twitter if the visiting fans would have a shot. That seems dubious at best.
In addition, some of the precautions that the venue is taking could also make a transition to NRG Stadium. Here are some of note, but the remainder can be found here.
- Guests will see new physical distancing measures in place, including in seating areas, in areas where lines tend to form, as well as in high-traffic areas.
- Hand sanitization stations have been installed throughout the stadium for fan use.
- The stadium will be completely cashless to minimize contact between guests and staff during payment transactions.
- Masks will be required at all times for fans attending games at Arrowhead Stadium, with the exception of when fans are actively eating or drinking.
- Tailgating will be allowed in the parking lot, but guests should only use the tailgate area behind their vehicle to maintain proper physical distancing between groups. Fans are encouraged to wear masks in parking areas as well.
- Guests will only be allowed to tailgate with fans who have tickets within their ticket pod.
If the Texans were to allow fans at some point this season, copying the Chiefs wouldn't be such a bad idea. It seems like a fair process, with a heavy emphasis on home fans filling whatever precious seats are available. I can only imagine how much one of those tickets would go for.
How about you, my dear reader? Would you be willing to attend with this kind of reduced capacity? Do you want to see J.J. Watt, Deshaun Watson, Brandin Cooks, David Johnson, Justin Reid and the rest of the Houston Texans live bad enough to go? If the tickets were extravagantly expensive, what would be your personal price limit? Would you even want to go at all, even with the safety measures mentioned? Let me know down below.