Jerry World is planning for fans this fall.
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Wednesday during a video conference that his team is gearing up for fans at AT&T Stadium during the 2020 season. Jones noted that he's confident Cowboys fans can adhere to any rules for attending games.
"I am completely confident that if I've ever seen a general population have had information of where the issues are, where the vulnerabilities are, how to conduct yourself, the do-right rule relative to the person with you and beside you that you do or you don't know, I'm confident that we have very educated situation and that our fans can come and have a safe experience at our stadium along with of course our players having the safety they're required on the football," he said.
Jones noted that because of the expansive nature of the stadium, which has a multitude of suites, and a great many places to put groups of 5-10 people, the ability to fit more fans at a safe distance is greater than some other stadiums.
"I don't have an expectation," Jones said when asked how many fans might attend. "As you know, you're dealing with a little bit of a moving target and I'm not trying to diminish the moving target aspect of it but we're very unique in we have the suite capacities we have out there that give us some extra control. We also have a stadium that has 3 million square feet in it…when you look at a number in the stadium, don't think that number's getting together out there, they're not. It'll be in pods of possibly five, 10, 15 different people. Our stadium is well suited to put together numbers of people that have elected to come and want to watch the Dallas Cowboys play. I won't speculate on a number."
Jones added that the Cowboys will follow state and local protocols when it comes to how many fans are able to attend games. Currently, Texas allows 50 percent capacity for sporting events. As with all things COVID-related, those allowances can change over the course of the season.
"We'll adhere to all protocols and we will adapt to the uniqueness of our stadium and that's within the protocol," Jones said. "We have a real unique situation and I think that we're going to be able to really have a great experience. I think that our safety precautions that we're doing won't be unfamiliar to a lot of people when we look at the general protocol of the country or we look at how you get together numbers of people. We will have our challenges, the people that will be there will be there at their own volition just as the players that are out on this field for the Cowboys are here because they have chosen to be here. Our fans will be in the stadium because they have chosen to be there."
Several teams, including the Cowboys' rival in Washington, have already announced plans to play games without fans in the stands. Others have said if fans are allowed to attend, it would be at a severely reduced capacity -- several starting at 25 percent.
Jones is confident the NFL can play a full season, regardless of how many fans are able to attend games across the country.
"When we sit down and think about football, you're talking to a biased person regarding what football does. You take most things away from me if you say it's not important...our country really does place football, whether it's misplaced or not, at a very high level. Consequently to answer your question, it is important. I think it is important individually but I think it's important in the country. I know the debate going on, I could easily see how X percent of the people would be for it's just not worth the kinds of effort, risk, whatever that's going to go on, I believe it is. The NFL can be an exciting, when I say exciting it can be an inspirational part of how we address COVID, not only the remainder of this year but as we go into '21. So, it's a big enough deal for me to look at cost in every way, and obviously cost usually are associated with financial but it's easy for me to justify for the long-term of interest in football, in the long-term thing that competitive sports bring to the table and what it can bring to the country, it's worth it to make the effort for us to have a complete season and I want to do it in front of our fans."