The Chicago Bears will not play home games in front of fans when the 2020 NFL season begins, the team announced on Monday.
Discussions between the Bears and the City of Chicago had been taking place about hosting a limited number of fans at Soldier Field amid the Covid-19 pandemic. That initiative was, though, deemed unsafe for now.
“After discussing a draft plan with City health officials, the Bears and the City of Chicago agreed the health metrics show that it is not the right time to welcome fans back to Soldier Field,” read a statement.
“The health and safety of the city's residents and fans of the Bears will always take priority. The team and City will continue to monitor the environment and believe there can be a sound plan in place to bring fans back to Soldier Field once it is deemed safe and appropriate. Until then, Bears home games will not include in-person fans,” it added.
The Bears are scheduled to play their first home game of the 2020 season on Sunday 20 September against the New York Giants -- their only home game in September.