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Panthers owner sees possibility of fans at NFL games in 2020

David Tepper said having fans in the stands is possible with social distancing and masks
Credit: Getty Images
CHARLOTTE, NC - OCTOBER 28: Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper walks the field during warm ups against the Baltimore Ravens at Bank of America Stadium on October 28, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

On an appearance on CNBC Wednesday, Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper said there could be fans at NFL games in 2020.

“If you have everybody wear a mask in the stadium maybe it could be closer than that," said Tepper. "Maybe it could be three feet away, or three and a half feet away or whatever the number is with masks.”

You can watch Tepper's entire interview on CNBC here.

Tepper mentioned that expanded COVID-19 could play a crucial role in that happening.

Bank of America Stadium has a capacity of about 75,000, but Tepper does not envision any stadiums being full before a vaccine is available.

“You won’t have full stadiums," he said. "But that doesn’t mean you can’t have some fans in the stadium either. If you’re comfortable being in a closed airplane on a cross-country trip, 18 inches apart, you might be comfortable in an open-air stadium? Maybe. Are you going to a restaurant six feet apart, are you OK with six feet apart in an open-air stadium?”

Tepper's comments come one week after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sent a memo to all 32 teams, asking them to not comment or speculate publicly on plans for the 2020 season.

The NFL also decided Wednesday to extend its virtual off-season through May 31. It was previously set to end on May 15.

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