ANNAPOLIS, Md. — A new order from Maryland's governor may allow fans to watch football in person again. Gov. Larry Hogan announced Friday that outdoor sporting and entertainment venues could operate at 10% capacity, with spectators wearing masks and following social distancing guidelines.
“With our key health metrics low and stable, we are taking steps to allow more spectators, including fans of the Baltimore Ravens and the Washington Football Team, to safely attend games in the stands," Gov. Hogan said.
Ten percent capacity at FedExField would mean around 8,000 fans could attend, while 7,000 fans would be allowed at M&T Bank Stadium.
Large social gatherings at both stadiums, including tailgating, are still prohibited under the new order.
Neither Washington nor Baltimore seem to have made a decision on how they will move forward given Hogan's announcement.
"We have an away game this weekend so there is some time to evaluate," a spokesperson for Washington Football Team said.
The Baltimore Ravens said they will discuss the new updates with Baltimore's mayor before they make any changes.
“We received Governor Hogan’s order today updating limits for outdoor sporting venues, which would allow up to 10% of total capacity," the Ravens said in a statement. "We have contacted Mayor Young’s office to discuss Governor Hogan’s order.”
In August, the Washington Football Team announced that it would play games without fans at FedEx Field for the 2020 season out of an abundance of caution. The hope was to re-evaluate the decision if the situation improved over the course of the season, according to a team press release.
"This decision was not an easy one, but after several discussions with federal, state and local officials – along with input from some of the nation's foremost medical experts, based right here in the nation's capital – we are confident that it is the right one," owner Dan Snyder said. "We are working to find ways to make our fans' presence felt in new and innovative ways for 2020 and can't wait to welcome the community through the gates as soon as it's safe."
Oct. 11 marked the first home game that the team played in front of fans, as the team allowed a few family members -- from the same household -- of its players, coaches and staff back to the stadium. They were sat in socially distanced seating throughout the stadium.
"At the request of our players and football staff, we will be hosting a limited number of close family members of players, coaches, and Washington Football Team employees in the stands as we take on the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday," WFT President Jason Wright said in an email to all season ticket holders. "We are continuing to work with Maryland's Department of Health and Prince George's County health officials to welcome staff and families of players back in a safe manner. We will use this opportunity to test our systems and protocols for the future possibility of hosting fans at FedExField."