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Bengals announce no fans permitted at season opener

Joe Burrow’s debut will happen in an empty Paul Brown Stadium.

Jacksonville Jaguars v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Bryan Woolston/Getty Images

The Cincinnati Bengals have announced today that they will not be able to host fans for their regular season opener on September 13th against the Los Angeles Chargers.

In a release via the team’s official website, Bengals Executive Vice President Katie Blackburn had this to say:

“For several months, the Bengals have worked diligently with the NFL, with local governments and with experts in the health community to develop a plan to responsibly host fans during the 2020 NFL season at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals filed a request for exemption seeking to have fans at games. The variance we requested has not been granted by the state at this time. While we want fans to attend our games, we accept and understand the State of Ohio’s position. We will monitor the situation moving forward and continue exploring whether fans may attend games as the season goes along.”

On Tuesday afternoon, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine issued a state order prohibiting outdoor sporting events from exceeding “1,500 individuals or 15% percent of fixed, seated capacity.” 1,500 fans would make up approximately 2.3 percent of Paul Brown Stadium’s maximum capacity.

This does not mean the Bengals won’t be allowing fans for the entire 2020 season, but a lift or adjustment to the state order would likely have to happen for things to change on this front.

The Bengals will go on the road for their Week 2 and Week 3 games before hosting the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 4 on October 4th, their second home game of the season.