The Los Angeles Rams are preparing for the possibility that SoFi Stadium, the new $5.5 billion project financed by owner Stan Kroenke, will not host fans in its debut season because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Rams announced Tuesday that the stadium will be “at limited or no capacity” this season.
If fans are allowed in the 70,000-seat stadium, the Rams expect that attendance will be capped at 15,000 to allow for social distancing. Masks also would be required.
In a letter sent to season-ticket members, the Rams explained that 2020 season tickets will not be available and will be deferred to the 2021 season. If fans are allowed in attendance, priority to purchase single-game tickets will be given to season-ticket holders.
The Rams have stopped collecting payments for season tickets. Refunds are available or payments can be credited to the 2021 season.
The Los Angeles Chargers, who also will play in SoFi Stadium, announced a similar plan last week.
In the letter to season-ticket members, the Rams also wrote that they “Anticipate that the NFL will cancel preseason games.” The preseason schedule has already been reduced from four games to two.
The Rams are scheduled to open the regular season hosting the Dallas Cowboys on Sept. 13 on Sunday Night Football.
Construction broke ground at the 298-acre stadium site in November 2016, 11 months after the announcement that the Rams would return to L.A. after playing 21 seasons in St. Louis. The stadium was initially estimated to cost $2.6 billion and was scheduled to open for the 2019 season. However, record rainfall in 2017 caused construction delays that forced the stadium to push its debut to 2020.