The Miami Dolphins will allow up to 13,000 socially distancing fans to attend their home opener against the Buffalo Bills on Sept. 20.
The decision has divided political leaders and upset Bills' Head Coach Sean McDermott, who told the media, "I think it’s honestly ridiculous that there will be, on the surface, what appears to be a playing field that’s like that, inconsistent across the league with the different away stadiums."
Crowd size will be about 20% of the Miami stadium's 65,326-seat capacity and groups of spectators will be spaced 6' apart. Fifteen of the NFL's 32 teams have ruled out spectators to start the season.
The Dolphins are one of at least eight teams hoping to have a limited number of spectators and many teams haven't announced plans. Currently, COVID-19 regulations prohibit fans from attending Bills home games in Orchard Park. On Monday, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said if new cases and positivity rates continue to increase, it is extremely unlikely that the state will allow fans into games.
The Bills home opener is Sept. 13 versus the New York Jets.