Houston Texans announce no fans for season opener in NRG Stadium
Houston Texans fans raring to don their battle blues and scream for Deshaun Watson, J.J. Watt, and company in NRG Stadium on September 20 will have to wait. The team announced that the stadium will not admit fans for the Texans first home game of the 2020 regular season scheduled for Sunday, September 20 vs. the Baltimore Ravens.
“We have made the difficult decision to not host fans at NRG Stadium in the month of September as we are committed to protecting the health and safety of our fans during these challenging times,” Texans president, Jamey Rootes, said in a statement. “Our fans provide the best homefield advantage in the NFL and we remain hopeful for their return to NRG Stadium once it is safe to do so.”
Season ticket holders, take note: The team reports that if the Texans host fans at home games at a later date, season ticket members who made the decision to opt-in for the 2020 season will receive instructions about the ticket-purchasing process at that time.
The Texans note that having no preseason games (a time where fans can get a glimpse of superstars and budding draft picks) will allow the organization to focus on game operations while continuing to refine the safety and operational protocols required to host fans at NRG Stadium.
Just when fans will be able to attend other home games later in the season will depend on the status of the COVID-19 pandemic in the greater Houston area, which is currently at the highest threat level red — the highest — the team says.
In a statement, the team adds that it will continue to monitor a “variety of metrics and other factors in consultation with local medical and public health officials with the safety and wellbeing of our fans, players, coaches, staff, other personnel and the Houston community as our highest priority.”
On March 20, the Texans traded star wide receiver, DeAndre Hopkins (considered by many to be the best in the game) and a fourth-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft to the Arizona Cardinals for running back David Johnson, a 2020 second-round pick, and a 2021 fourth-round pick. The trade was widely mocked and lambasted by media members, experts, and players.
Time will tell when fans will get to see the new-look Texans in-person, and if head coach Bill O’Brien’s offseason tinkering will pay off.