ARLINGTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Attendance at AT&T Stadium has increased at each Dallas Cowboys game this season.
At the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers nearly two weeks ago, there were 31,700 fans there.
On Tuesday, Nov. 17, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told 105.3 The Fan he wants to build on that.
“My plan was to increase our fans as we went through the season, and move those numbers up, and we followed that plan.”
A Cowboys spokesman said Tuesday the team has not been commenting or confirming maximum seating capacity details this season.
Earlier this year, Governor Greg Abbott limited stadiums to 50% capacity.
The NFL said the Cowboys have been one of 19 teams that have hosted fans at games during the pandemic.
Jones said, “We’ve had almost a third of the attendance in the NFL. I’m proud of that. Our stadium is particularly suited for airiness, openness, air circulation. I’m very proud of the fact that we do it safely, we do it smartly. ”
Because of rising Covid-19 cases recently, the Baltimore Ravens, Washington Football Team and the Philadelphia Eagles have decided they won’t host fans at their next home game.
Jones said, “I see a continued aggressive approach to having fans out there. And that’s not being insensitive to the fact that we got our COVID and outbreak. Some people will say it is, but not when you’re doing it as safe as we are and not when we’re having the results we’re having. Literally, we have had no one report that they’ve had gotten any contact with COVID from coming to our football game.”
A NFL spokesman said in a statement, “We’ve been tracking Covid case trends at the local and state levels with public officials. No local case clusters have been reported traced back to NFL games.”
Tarrant County’s Public Health Department Director Vinny Taneja expressed doubt, saying contact tracers have only been successful in reaching Covid patients 50% of the time. “So is there a guarantee that those other 50% weren’t tied to games or events at large gatherings? Who knows.”
Businesses near the stadium we spoke with told us they’d like to see more fans during the games here as long as it’s done safely.
Karla Salazar, Manager of the New Yorker Pizza & Pasta restaurant said, “It would definitely bring more business to the restaurant and all the small businesses around.”
She said the home games have made a big difference in business this year compared to what it’s like the rest of the week. “When it comes to game days, it’s great. This place comes alive and the crew is really happy just to see people.”
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