K.C. Mayor Sees Chiefs As "Model" On Fans' Return To Stadiums
The Chiefs played before a 22% capacity crowd at Arrowhead Stadium on Thursday night, and K.C. Mayor Quinton Lucas believes the example put forth by the team and the city "will be a model for the rest of the country" on how to safely bring fans back to stadiums. Lucas, speaking to Yahoo Finance, said city officials "listened to medical advice" outside of just the K.C. Health Department. Officials worked with local doctors, the NFL and the Chiefs medical staff, among others. Lucas noted Arrowhead Stadium is a “large, cavernous stadium” -- its normal capacity is 76,416 -- so officials are “able to keep social distancing." He said, “Everything about the experience will be different than if you went to a game recently in Madison Square Garden or anywhere else. You’ll have that level of spacing, you will have less contact, frankly, with others, you’ll have people that are staying in smaller groups." Lucas said he is "not dramatically concerned we’ll get that many more cases" of coronavirus from those who attended Thursday's game. Lucas: "The protections should work, but it’s something that we’ll continue to look at each week.” While some NFL and college teams are going with a rounder 20% or 25% capacity, Lucas noted K.C. landed at the "weird number” of 22% based on the "measurement of what you need to have rows between people (and) social distancing between your different pod groups" (“The Ticker,” Yahoo! Finance, 9/10).
DOING WHAT THEY CAN: NBC's Sam Brock said officials inside Arrowhead Stadium on Thursday "made it difficult" for attendees to "end up near anybody you don’t know." Many seats "were actually tied shut, except for a given pod." Brock: "Even if you wanted to move around, you really couldn’t” (“Today,” NBC, 9/11). ABC’s T.J. Holmes notes while some sections "had fans spread out in groups, many were seen throughout the game crowded together and cheering, some in masks, some without” (“GMA,” ABC, 9/11).
LOW HANGING FRUIT: CNBC’s Brian Sullivan noted the Chiefs are one of the few teams “to allow anybody in” for the games to start the season. He said of Thursday's crowd in K.C., “It looked like the fourth quarter of a Jets game as far as 20% attendance” (“Worldwide Exchange,” CNBC, 9/11).