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NFL’s Miami Dolphins to allow 13,000 fans at home opener

ASSOCIATED PRESS



a person holding a football ball: Miami Dolphins participates in tackling drills during training camp.


© Associated Press
Miami Dolphins participates in tackling drills during training camp.

MIAMI (AP) — The Miami Dolphins will allow up to 13,000 socially distancing fans to attend their home opener against the Buffalo Bills on Sept. 20, a decision supported by state and local political leaders.

Crowd size will be about 20 percent of the stadium’s 65,326-seat capacity, with the limitation imposed because of the coronavirus pandemic. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez were scheduled to attend a news conference Monday at the stadium to discuss the decision.

Fans and stadium employees will be required to wear masks when not eating or drinking. No tailgating will be allowed.

There will be staggered gate entry, with entry times listed on game tickets, and upgraded metal detectors for faster processing. The stadium will provide additional points of entry and exit to help avoid bottlenecks.

Season ticket holders will have first priority to purchase tickets based on their tenure.

“When we started the process back in March of exploring what a socially distanced stadium could look like, we made the health and safety of everyone the first priority, knowing that if we felt that we couldn’t make it safe, we simply wouldn’t have fans,” Dolphins vice chairman and CEO Tom Garfinkel said in a statement. “We’re happy that our elected officials recognize the attention to detail and diligence that we’ve put into creating a safe environment and that they made the decision to move forward with a 13,000-capacity stadium at this time.”

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