CHICAGO – Phase 4 of Illinois’ COVID-19 reopening does allow for 20 percent capacity for sporting events, but that’s not going to happen in the City of Chicago just yet.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot shot down the idea for now at a news conference last week, as games will have to go on without spectators for a little while.
With this in mind, the Bears decided to give their season ticket holders an option for the upcoming campaign that’s shrouded in a bit of doubt as the pandemic continues.
Per a letter sent to season ticket holders by the franchise on Monday, fans have the option to get a refund for the 2020 season and still have the chance to have the same seat for the 2021 season.
In that same letter, the team didn’t say for sure whether or not they’d have fans for the two preseason games and eight regular season games or not. They did say they’ll work closely with city and state officials along with the National Football League to make sure fans can return safely.
“Our hope is to build a model that provides the opportunity to see the Bears play this fall to as many Season Ticket Holders as possible. We will communicate your options as soon as a plan is finalized,” said the team in the letter.
At the moment, the Bears are scheduled to open the preseason at home on Saturday, August 15th against the Cleveland Browns at 12 PM. The regular season opener is slated for Sunday, September 20th against the Giants at noon.
As of right now, the team and the rest of the NFL are preparing to start training camps at team facilities on time on July 28th. While that may be held, knowing what’s ahead for crowds or the game itself might be difficult considering the spread of COVID-19.
“The experience this season will be different. For our coaches, players, our staff, and our fans,” said the team in the letter. “Adaptability and flexibility will be key in order to field a winning team and to deliver value to our most important fans, our Season Ticket Holders.”
How much they’ll see of the season is a question without an answer, but at least those who would like a chance to sit out this year at home know they have that option.