New York Giants head coach Joe Judge may have to coach his first game as a head coach in the NFL without fans in the stands if current measures to thwart the spread of the coronavirus aren’t scaled back by the fall.
It’s a reality Judge hopes to avoid.
While Judge is preparing for that possibility, he said on Tuesday that he doesn’t want to see vacant stadiums.
“I don’t think anyone wants to play in front of empty stadiums,” Judge said, via Tom Rock of Newsday. “The fans are really a huge part of this game. Playing in front of stadiums, that’s where a lot of the juice and energy comes from on a weekly basis.”
The NFL has mandated that teams don’t comment on possibilities for the upcoming season. Judge deferred to the league in that regard himself when asked about the outlook for the fall. But playing in a stadium without any fans would be uncharted territory. Judge hopes that circumstances allow for fans to be present for games while knowing his team may need to play without them.
“We don’t have fans at practice, so we prepare them every day to play without people watching,” Judge said. “These guys have to go out and be prepared for whatever the situation is, but truly we want the fans there. It would be a different atmosphere. We prepare for whatever, but the fans are a huge part of this game and we definitely want them there.”