NASHVILLE – Are you ready for some football?
I'm talking live, and in person, Titans football.
Well, it's coming.
On Thursday morning, the Titans announced Nissan Stadium will open at limited capacity beginning with the team's October 4 contest against the Pittsburgh Steelers. After that, the attendance will gradually increase for games in October with the goal of reaching a fixed capacity for the remaining games in November and December.
The Titans, who won their season opener at Denver on Monday night, will face the Jacksonville Jaguars this Sunday at Nissan Stadium, a game that will be closed to the general public.
Here's how things will work from that point on:
The team's October 4 game against the Steelers will be open to season ticket members up to 10 percent, which is roughly 7,000 fans in the lower bowl and club levels.
The October 11 game against the Bills will allow 12.5 percent, or roughly 8,600.
The October 18 game against the Texans will allow 15 percent, or roughly 10,400.
After that – the Titans are scheduled to play two games at Nissan Stadium in November (vs. Chicago and Indianapolis) and two games in December (vs. Cleveland and Detroit -- capacity could reach 21 percent, roughly 14,500 fans, which is the maximum capacity the facility can accommodate under current CDC guidelines. Outside of the seating bowl, suites will operate at a limited capacity.
Titans coach Mike Vrabel said he's excited about the development.
"It will be great," Vrabel said on a video conference call on Thursday. "It was very eerie, unusual, difficult, I think for that opening night game (in Denver), to go out there and not have that added element of the fans. So it will be exciting once we have the opportunity to play in front of our fans, or fans in general, that support us and allow us and help us do what we do."
Nashville Mayor John Cooper made the announcement at a press conference this morning that was attended by Titans President and CEO Burke Nihill. Back in August, Cooper announced that the team's home opener would be held without fans as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We are thrilled to welcome fans back to Nissan Stadium and can't thank Mayor Cooper and the Metro Nashville Public Health Department enough for their collaboration in making this possible," Nihill said. "The health and safety of our fans, players and staff remains our top priority and we felt like a gradual capacity plan was the right call, knowing that we may need to be flexible as time goes on. We feel confident that our Safe Stadium Plan will give everyone a safe and comfortable experience as they return to our gates."
Detailed information on the Safe Stadium Plan can be found at www.tennesseetitans.com/safestadium.
Here's a look at some of the key components of the decision:
• Socially-distant seating pods accommodating parties of one to a maximum of six people
• Mobile ticketing and parking, to eliminate physical contact while scanning passes
• Mandatory face coverings at all times, except when actively eating or drinking
• Over 300 hand sanitizing stations throughout the stadium
• Individually-wrapped food items at concession stands
• Elimination of all smoking and vaping areas in the facility
• Health screenings and personal protective equipment for all Nissan Stadium employees
• A comprehensive cleaning plan during events for bathrooms and near concession areas
Fans will be asked to arrive early and head straight to the gates after they arrive. After consulting with local and national health experts, there will be no tailgating or pre-game activities allowed outside of the stadium. The stadium will have dedicated security crews throughout Nissan Stadium to enforce all Safe Stadium policies.
The Titans home game against the Jaguars will remain closed to most fans, except for the winner of the Titans' previously announced "Home Alone Sweepstakes" and their guest, two season ticket member accounts given two passes each and one pair of passes dedicated to a frontline worker in the community.
Season Ticket Members will have access to all remaining home games. Inventory is subject to availability, and ticket limits will be enforced. Complete details regarding seat selection will be emailed to Season Ticket Members on Monday, September 21st. Seat selection will occur Tuesday, September 22nd - Thursday, September 24th or until all inventory has sold out.