With the COVID-19 pandemic easing — and the state and county set to lift most virus-related restrictions on June 15 — the Rams announced Tuesday they plan to have full-capacity crowds at SoFi Stadium for the upcoming NFL season.
In a Twitter post, Rams Chief Operating Officer Kevin Demoff wrote that team owner Stan Kroenke built the Inglewood stadium “for Rams fans & all of L.A. to enjoy.”
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“Thanks to (the county Department of Public Health), the heroic work of the medical community & first responders, and everyone doing their part, we are thrilled to announce we will welcome fans to the Rams House this fall at full capacity,” Demoff wrote in a message that was shared on the team’s Twitter page.
The Chargers, who share SoFi Stadium with the Rams, have not made a formal announcement, but the team is also expected to sell tickets at full capacity for its games. Both NFL teams played in the venue without fans last season.
The Rams posting did not come as a surprise given the state’s announcement last week that it will lift all capacity limits and physical distancing requirements on June 15. The date was chosen back in April, in anticipation of growing numbers of residents being vaccinated against Covid-19.
County health officials announced last week that they would align with the state and also lift most Covid restrictions on June 15.
Although the bulk of restrictions will be scrapped, some guidance will remain in place for large-scale events, such as NFL games. According to L.A. County, for large outdoor events attended by more than 10,000 people, the county will strongly recommend — but not require — that all attendees show proof of being fully vaccinated or having a negative Covid test within 72 hours of the event. People who cannot show either will still be able to attend, but must wear a mask.
For indoor events attended by 5,000 or more people, only people who are fully vaccinated or have a negative Covid test within 72 hours of the event will be able to attend. There will be no provision allowing attendance by people who cannot prove either.
SoFi has large openings on its north and south walls and 40 of the 302 massive “picture frames” that tile the ceiling can be opened slightly to let fresh air in. It’s unclear, however, whether that qualifies the stadium as an outdoor venue. Whatever the case, with a capacity between 70,000 and 100,000, SoFi definitely qualifies as large-scale.
The Lakers were the first major Southern California sports franchise to welcome fans back. They did so on a limited basis beginning April 15. About 2,000 fans attended that game at Staples Center under the vaccination/negative test guidelines specified by L.A. Public Health officials. Normal capacity at Staples Center for a Laker game is 18,997.
The Dodgers announced last week that the team will return to full capacity at Dodger Stadium after June 15.
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