Officials are banning fans from attending games, at least through September at Gillette Stadium, and for the remainder of the season at Fenway Park, over the risk of transmitting the coronavirus in the stands.
The Massachusetts Reopening Advisory Board told officials at Gillette Stadium Tuesday that fans won't be allowed inside in September, meaning New England Patriots fans will be watching the games from home at least to start the season.
Impacted Games at Gillette
The stands will be empty for home games on Sept. 13, the home opener, and Sept. 27.
The fan ban also applies to home games on the New England Revolution's schedule, on Aug. 20, Aug. 29 and Sept. 2.
Officials at Gillette had previously targeted filling the stadium to 20% capacity. They said Tuesday they are confident in the plan they've drawn up, in consultation with many stakeholders and experts, and will continue preparing should fans be allowed later on this fall.
"Gillette Stadium fully supports the state’s position and this decision in the interest of public safety. We would have welcomed the opportunity to host fans in August and September, but are hopeful to do so later in the season," read the statement from Gillette Stadium officials.
Impacted Games at Fenway
Fenway Park will be closed to fans for the remainder of the 2020 season, the Red Sox said in a statement first reported by The Boston Sports Journal.
"We have been informed by Lt. Gov. Polito that the State is not yet in a position to allow fans to return to Fenway, at least through the month of September. While we were hopeful fans would be able to return to Fenway at some point this season, we agree that now is not the right time, given the state of the virus around the country," the Sox said.
Gov. Charlie Baker was asked at a news conference earlier Tuesday about whether Patriots fans would get to go to games this season.
“We’ve had conversations with them and with the Red Sox and we’ve basically said, ‘Look, we’re focused at this point on schools and wouldn’t plan to do anything with respect anything like that until we get much farther into the fall,’” Baker said.
Professional sports got the go-ahead to host games in Massachusetts in early July, provided the teams coordinate with their leagues, but with the understanding, at least at the start, that games wouldn't include fans in the stands.