Folks, one thing that’s true about me is that I absolutely hate the Dallas Cowboys. I absolutely can’t stand Jerry Jones. On second thought, the way he meddles in his team’s football operations is why the Dallas Cowboys are mediocre every season so maybe I should thank him. However, one thing that nobody can knock Jerry Jones for is that he’s extremely good at the sport of business. To the surprise of nobody, Jerry is going against the grain and he’s going to allow some fans in the stands this season for Cowboys home games.
This is an absolutely brilliant move from Jerry Jones here. Now, before we go any further, I unfortunately am obligated to say that I don’t believe that the coronavirus is a hoax and it is something that should be taken seriously. There’s a lot of ambiguity with the issues we face these days and unfortunately most of us only operate in absolutes. Many people will read the headline of this article and get angry at me for even suggesting that this is a good move but let me break my argument down before you jump down my throat.
For starters, Jerry clearly isn’t going to have his 105,000 stadium packed to full capacity. That wouldn’t be smart. But can anyone give me a good reason why he can’t have 25% capacity each weekend if the following conditions are met? Here’s what I propose:
- Temperature checks at the gate. Anyone with a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher isn’t allowed into the stadium.
- Masks required to be worn at all times with no exceptions. Anyone who violates this is to be ejected from the stadium.
- Staggered seating and arrival times so that parties can always maintain 6+ feet of social distancing
- No concessions/merchandise sold at the stadium to avoid crowded corridors
If you truly think about it, those requirements are safer than going to Walmart or Target. In fact, through this whole COVID-19 journey I feel least safe in supermarkets compared to any other place. I’ve been to theme parks multiple times and I feel safe there since they strictly enforce social distancing and masks. I’ve been to restaurants and I feel safe there because they require masks. But when I’m in line with groceries and there’s some old dude standing 3 feet away from me in Walmart telling me that masks and COVID-19 are hoaxes, I don’t feel particularly safe (that actually happened to me in early July).
Now, will Jerry Jones follow the above guidelines? I’m not entirely sure. That being said, I’m sure that the Cowboys have some sort of plan to keep people safe. They won’t be completely reckless with it and if Jerry comes out and says that he’s going to allow full stadiums then my tune will likely change. But they’ve had since March to get a plan together and I’d bet that they have a pretty good one. For what it’s worth, the Falcons have also said that they’ll let 10,000-20,000 fans in the stands this season which I think is the smartest decision possible given these current times.
The argument for allowing stadiums to be completely full is stupid but the argument for stadiums to be completely empty is also completely stupid. The truth lies somewhere in the middle. If proper precautions are met then it’s absolutely safe to go to football games this fall. If masks work, and there’s strong anecdotal evidence that they do, then we can at least return to some semblance of normal. Football is a part of that normal. Props to Jerry for having the guts to make a rational decision that many other teams and owners won’t make.