“The Eagles are still going to be allowed to play, although without crowds. The Phillies will continue to be allowed to play, although without crowds,” managing director Brian Abernathy said, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
“We have been in communication with the Eagles. We have told them our expectations are that they don’t have fans.”
Philadelphia health commissioner Thomas Farley said he believes that baseball and football games can be played under the safety protocols suggested by both leagues, but having fans in the stands would be too big of a risk.
“I do not think that they can have spectators at those games. There’s no way for them to be safe having a crowd there,” he said. “I can’t say what the plans are for the league, but from a safety perspective, they can play games but not [have] crowds.”
The Eagles have yet to publicly comment.
“We are gathering information on Philadelphia,” said NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy, who added that what happens in Philadelphia will not impact the NFL’s decision-making for the other 31 teams.
“Decisions on the number of fans at stadiums will be determined on a market-by-market basis,” McCarthy said.
The NFL has said from the onset that safety decisions will be made in conjunction with guidance from public health experts and in accordance with local and state guidelines.
The city officials’ comments came on the same day Mayor Jim Kenney announced that all large-scale events in Philadelphia would be canceled through February 2021.
Earlier this month, the Eagles told season-ticket holders that they had the option of deferring their tickets for the 2020 season, noting that some might have concerns about attending games in person.