More than 80 per cent of Green Bay Packers’ season ticket holders have opted out of the NFL’s 2020 season at Lambeau Field.
Packers president Mark Murphy revealed in a video interview with Packers.com that only 20 per cent of fans decided to opt in for tickets for this season.
The franchise sent out a survey in July and asked season ticket holders whether they wanted to opt in or out of tickets in 2020 due to COVID-19 concerns, which has contributed to at least two home games at the 81,441-capacity stadium being played without fans.
The NFL team will have no fans at its games against the Detroit Lions on September 20 and Atlanta Falcons on October 5.
However, with the Packers only set to host two contests in the first seven weeks of the season, the door has been left ajar to a possible opening of the turnstiles at Lambeau Field for the Week Eight clash with the Minnesota Vikings on November 1 – as long as the Covid-19 outlook improves.
Murphy said: “In my mind, the fact that that high a percentage of our fans were not comfortable coming to games was a factor that weighed into my thinking.”
The fans’ decision did not affect ticket-holding status in future years and gave ticket holders an opportunity to receive a full refund for 2020 or have this year’s payment credited to the 2021 season.
Murphy continued: “It was a tough decision. Here in Green Bay, we know how much our home games mean to the local economy and the local community. At the end of the day, in my mind, the most important thing was protecting the health and safety of our community and our fans.”
The Packers added that season ticket holders who have opted in for the opportunity to buy tickets this season will receive instructions about the ticket-purchasing process at a later date.
Earlier this month, it was reported that approximately $7bn in ticketing revenue could be lost in the NFL over the course of the 2020-21 season if fans are not allowed to attend any of the games due to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to ticket search engine and market analysis provider TicketiQ.