The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have determined that it is not yet time to reopen the gates of Raymond James Stadiums to their fans, even as a highly-anticipated 2020 season is about to begin.
On Wednesday, the Buccaneers announced that they will play their first two home games – against the Carolina Panthers on September 20 and the Los Angeles Chargers on October 4 – without fans in the stands. The Buccaneers hope those will be their only two games with empty stands, and that current COVID-19 pandemic trends will allow their fans to get their first up-close look at Tom Brady and the 2020 squad when they host the Green Bay Packers on October 18.
The Buccaneers have joined 25 other NFL teams in choosing to begin the season without fans in the stands. The team came to this decision after working closely for several months with local and NFL officials to chart the safest and most responsible course for returning to games with fans in attendance. The decision is ultimately a disappointing one, as the Buccaneers deeply want to play in front of their passionate fanbase, but one that adheres to public health guidelines and keeps safety as the top priority.
Further information about attendance at the other six home games and opportunities to purchase tickets for those contests will be available at a later date.