INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The 2020 NFL season gets underway this week. The Indianapolis Colts open the season on the road Sunday in Jacksonville as they take on AFC South rival the Jaguars.
The blue and white’s first home game of the season is Sept. 20 against the Minnesota Vikings. For fans, who plan to head to Lucas Oil Stadium this season, things will look a little different. That’s because the Colts released health and safety procedures for home games.
The guidelines are as follows:
- Fans must not come to the stadium if they have been diagnosed with COVID-19, have experienced COVID-19 symptoms, or know they have been exposed to COVID-19.
- Whenever possible, fans should use the stadium entrance noted on their tickets. Stadium staff will assist fans by identifying entrances and exits with reduced congestion.
- Each fan and gameday employee will participate in a COVID screening, including a questionnaire and a temperature check, prior to entering the stadium.
- Consistent with local, NFL, and CDC guidelines, each fan and gameday employee will be required to wear a mask or face covering at all times, including during security screenings at stadium entrances and inside the stadium, except when actively eating or drinking.
- Fans are required to practice physical distancing of at least six feet inside and outside of Lucas Oil Stadium. With multiple entries and exits at four separate gates and more than 1 million square feet of club, concourse, and corridor space, fans will have ample space to practice social distancing. Fans will not be allowed to gather in Lucas Oil Plaza or Bud Light Zone.
- Fan seating will be grouped in “pods” to maintain distance between groups who are not known to one another. Fans must sit in the seats assigned to them.
- If a fan or employee begins to feel ill after entering, he or she should visit the nearest First Aid Room, where an onsite medical team will be prepared to treat the person.
- Tailgating will not be permitted in Colts-controlled parking lots, including the South Lot, the Northwest Lot, and Lot A. All other tailgating policies will be set at the discretion of the lot operators throughout downtown. Fans should contact the appropriate lot operator for its policy.
- Until further notice, Touchdown Town will not be active on game day.
- Ticketing will be completely mobile to create a more safe and secure entry experience for fans.
- Security screenings at stadium entrances will be conducted in a manner that minimizes person-to-person contact.
- During the 2020 season, all Colts games will be cashless. Major credit and debit cards, as well as mobile pay services, will be accepted at concessions and the Colts Pro Shop. Cash-to-card machines will be available outside sections 116 and 153 for fans who need to exchange cash for pre-paid debit cards.
- All concession and catering staff will be trained on CDC guidelines and required to wear personal protective equipment (PPE), follow enhanced handwashing procedures, and maintain cleaning and sanitization protocols for food and beverage contact surfaces. Fans will be separated from concession staff by plexiglass shields, and all food items will be served in single-serve, closed containers with pre-packaged disposable silverware and condiments.
- As was announced last week, capacity will be limited to a maximum of 2,500 attendees for the Sept. 20 home opener. Colts staff will meet with local health officials as early as this week to discuss capacity for future games.
- Stadium staff will routinely disinfect all surfaces, including door handles, push plates, restroom fixtures and partitions, tables and furniture, trash cans, and other areas on a 24/7 basis. Every restroom will be cleaned and disinfected thoroughly on a daily basis using electrostatic products that provide coverage of all hard surfaces at a rate of 18,000 square feet per hour and kills 99.9% of bacteria in five seconds.
- Directional signage will be placed throughout the stadium to help maintain physical distancing.Fans and employees should follow all posted signage and continue to abide by physical distancing markers that appear in elevators, near escalators, in concession lines, restrooms, and other locations.
- The stadium is equipped with hospital-grade air filters and provides 24/7 air circulation. The total air supply and outdoor air ventilation are set for each event based on the specific event requirements and outdoor weather conditions. As such, the stadium roof and window will be open when weather and other operational conditions permit. Fans are encouraged to stay tuned to Colts social media the week of each home game to find out if the roof will be open or closed.
- Fans and employees will have access to hand sanitizer stations throughout the stadium. Fans and staff are encouraged to sanitize and wash their hands frequently on gamedays.
- Front-line stadium staff and vendors working game days will complete enhanced training on CDC guidelines, PPE, and other COVID-19 practices and protocols and will abide by all stadium health and safety policies.
- All seating within 20 ft. of any field entrance, including at least the first eight rows of the lower stadium bowl, will be covered.
“As much as we’re looking forward to the return of Colts football, our top priority during these challenging times is protecting the health of our fans, players, and employees and making sure the gameday experience at Lucas Oil Stadium is as safe as possible,” said Pete Ward, Colts chief operating officer.
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