DENVER (CBS4) — Sunday's Denver Broncos game against the Miami Dolphins will be the last time of the season fans will be in the stands, as the team does their part to stop the spread of COVID-19. Multiple Denver Broncos season ticket holders say they think the team made the right decision to turn away fans for the remainder of the season.
The Broncos said they chose to stop admitting fans to games after this Sunday as a way to do their part to slow the spread of coronavirus. According to a statement issued by the team, neither the City of Denver nor the State of Colorado required the decision to be made. The Broncos statement suggested the decision was left to the team.
Jon Stone, a life-long Denver Broncos football fan, has been going to games since he was 10 years old. His family has had season tickets since the 1960s. He told CBS4's Dillon Thomas going to some home games this season was fun. However, it wasn't the same as being there when others filled the seats.
"It was definitely surreal," Stone said. "There's maybe 10 or 15 people in the entire section."
The Broncos were only allowed to permit around 5,700 fans for each home game, spread out through a stadium that can seat almost 75,000. However, as cases soar in Colorado, and the infection rate is the highest ever, Stone said the decision to stop admitting fans was the right move.
"I think it is the right decision. I expected the state to step in and do something, and it wouldn't have to be the Broncos," Stone said.
The Broncos said there were no cases of COVID-19 tracked back to Empower Field at Mile High. The team said their staff had gone above and beyond to protect guest and employee safety. Stone said he was not surprised to hear that COVID-19 wasn't connected to spread.
"Games I have been to, I felt really safe. There was no one around. Everyone was wearing masks. You go to concessions and there were no lines," Stone said.
Some fans told CBS4 they felt it was still too large of a gathering for their comfort. Some season ticketholders chose to give up their season tickets for the first time. Also, others said they felt the games were "boring" because the atmosphere created by full-capacity crowds is what makes the game most exciting.
Stone said he felt the games could likely go on safely. However, while surrounding small businesses and schools struggle moving forward, Stone said the Broncos sent a good message.
"We have schools closed. We have restaurants shutting down. And, yet, we are allowing fans to attend a football game," Stone said. "Sports brings people together. It is something different to do in a time when there aren't many normal things to do."
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