The latest shoe has dropped in the battle between the NFL and the again-surging COVID-19 pandemic, this time by way of a decision from the Dallas Cowboys that was rightfully expected by many. With teams around the league being forced to significantly reduce fan capacity in 2020, the Cowboys and owner Jerry Jones had yet to issue a statement on how they'd handle the matter. In early June, Texas governor Greg Abbott declared sports venues like AT&T Stadium would be permitted a seating capacity of up to 50 percent, and while there has since been a massive spike in the number of coronavirus cases -- leading to a paused reopening in the state -- Abbott hasn't peeled back that proclamation.
So while it's still unclear how many fans will be allowed at AT&T Stadium this coming season, what's now clear is being a season ticket-holder won't necessarily get you to the game. The Cowboys have announced the cancellation of season tickets in 2020, noting the program is set to resume in 2021.
"The safety of our fans, players and employees remains a top priority," the team said in an official statement. "The Dallas Cowboys are committed to working closely with the NFL, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the State of Texas and public health officials to ensure that proper policies and procedures are put in place to maintain a safe environment at AT&T Stadium. Because of the current pandemic and associated NFL and governmental restrictions limiting capacity at AT&T Stadium, season tickets will not be available for the 2020 season and will resume with the 2021 NFL season."
A "limited number" of single-game tickets that become available will be granted to season ticket holders first, however, assuming they opt in for them, via Seat Geek. An email will be sent to those who opt in when/if the single-game tickets become available.
Any season ticket holders who opt out will can choose to remain in a holding pattern and simply pick up where they left off when 2021 rolls around, which means retaining their tenure, seat location and benefits. Those who have already paid their season ticket invoice have several options, which include either requesting a full refund, forwarding the totality of their credit toward the 2021 season, or using parts of their credit to cover any 2020 single-game tickets they've chosen to opt in for. Additionally, fans with a seat option agreement will be granted another year on their term, to balance out the loss of their 2020 benefits. Anyone requesting a full refund will begin seeing it after September 1.
Those who are champing at the bit to see a Cowboys game in-person can take solace in the team's optimism that at least some will be allowed in, a move that is in stark contrast with teams like the New York Giants and New York Jets -- both having been banned from allowing a single fan into MetLife Stadium this season. With AT&T Stadium having one of the largest capacities in the NFL, routinely blowing pass 100,000 on any given game day, the Cowboys need now only decide if they'll push the envelope to the currently allowable 50 percent capacity, or if they'll err on the side of caution and go with a lesser number.