INGLEWOOD (CNS) - Rams and Chargers games at the brand-new SoFi Stadium in Inglewood will be held without fans until further notice due to the coronavirus pandemic, a widely expected move announced today in joint statement from the teams and stadium officials.
The statement said the decision was made after careful consideration and discussion with state and local health officials.
“While we all look forward to coming together to celebrate this new era of sports and entertainment in Los Angeles, the health and safety of our fans, community, players and staff remains our top priority,'' it continued.
“We will continue to work with LA County Department of Public Health and the city of Inglewood on a plan that, when circumstances permit, safely brings fans to SoFi Stadium and adheres to local, state, CDC and NFL guidelines. Should conditions surrounding the coronavirus pandemic significantly improve -- and state guidance evolve -- to the point we believe fans can safely attend games at SoFi Stadium, we will communicate the news at that time.''
The stadium will open Sept. 13, when the Rams host the Dallas Cowboys in a nationally televised Sunday night game.
“While we are doing everything to safely open SoFi Stadium and ultimately fulfill its promise to Rams fans, the NFL and to this region, we know our ability to welcome fans into the building will be guided by the wisdom of health care experts and the policies of local, state and federal government officials,'' Rams owner Stan Kroenke said. “Therefore, we won't speculate on any timeline as to when fans will be able to join us. The health and well-being of our employees, community and the nation, remains our highest concern.''
The Chargers will play their first game at SoFi Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 20 against the Super Bowl-champion Kansas City Chiefs.
“While not being able to open SoFi Stadium with fans in attendance is heartbreaking, we are grateful for the opportunity to play NFL football this fall,'' Chargers owner Dean Spanos said.
“... When conditions ultimately improve -- and if we continue to work together, they will -- we look forward to celebrating a new chapter of Chargers football with our fans, in person, fist bumps and all.''
Last week, the Rams announced that fans can purchase cardboard cutouts of themselves to help fill stadium seating for the home opener against the Cowboys and for subsequent games held amid the COVID-19 pandemic at TheRams.com/game-faces-for-good.
Proceeds will go toward the Los Angeles Rams Foundation to address social injustices, including poverty, education inequities, food insecurity and homelessness.
Season ticket holders had the first chance to purchase cutouts for the Cowboys game at $70 each, with cutouts available to the general public for $80. Cutouts will be available for subsequent home games and placed on seats before each game.
In late July, the Rams told their season ticket holders that if fans are allowed to attend games at SoFi Stadium during the 2020 season, the capacity at the 70,240-seat stadium would be limited to approximately 15,000 to allow for social distancing. Wearing a face covering would be required.
The Chargers also sent a similar email to their season ticket holders.
Photo: Getty Images